Thai police staged a post-midnight raid on an internet cafe in Pattaya last night after a tip off that it was eing run as an illegal online casino.
The anti-gambling snatch squad confiscated 10 computers and arrested two people, said to be ordinary players. The cafe owner fled the scene before he could be arrested.
Plain-clothes officers marched in to the cafe in central Pattaya’s Soho Square, acting on information that it had been turned into a round-the-clock online casino.
The casino operators took steps to conceal what was going on inside by hanging a thick white curtain across the window.Behind it, police found four computers and four touch-screen electronic games machines as well as 20 ID chips used to operate the machines, worth around £15 each. The haul has been officially valued at just over £4,500.
A spokesman described the “Welcome Online Casino” as one of Pattaya’s “big ones”, catering to a growing number of Thai gamblers and foreigners “who are addicted to this kind of gambling and they don’t have to travel to a real casino”.
Gambling of all kinds is illegal in Thailand but still remains popular. Recent estimates claim 70 per cent of Thais gamble regularly, spending more than £3 billion in the process.