Singapore, Thailand crackdown on illegal World Cup betting

    Authorities in Thailand and Singapore have also stepped up action against illegal betting linked to the World Cup, with a series of arrests and seizures of phone records, computers and equipment.
    Thailand’s military leaders have arrested, 1677 people involved in World Cup betting from June 9 to June 21 and shutdown 675 illegal sites, Reuters said, citing a police spokesman.
    “Thais are quite addicted to gambling and the World Cup is a period when gambling spikes,” Anucha Romyanan, deputy police spokesman told Reuters. “People are still trying to access gambling websites so we’re locating those websites and shutting them down.”
    Gambling is illegal in Thailand apart from the state lottery and horse racing, but illegal gambling has been thriving and the amount spent on such activities is expected to spike during the tournament.
    According to the University of the Thai Chamber of Commerce, Thais are likely to bet $1.4 billion during the World Cup.
    Authorities across Asia have been clamping down on illegal sports betting tied to the soccer in Brazil.
    In Singapore, 15 people were stopped over the weekend, with police estimating that had taken in bets worth $641,000.
    Cash totalling Sg$350,000, as well as computers, mobile phones and documents detailing betting and bank transaction records were seized during the raid, police said.
    In Macau, police recently arrested 22 people in an illegal gambling ring that took about $64.5 million in wagers on the World Cup in one week, with one bet alone of as much as $5.1 million.
    While in Hong Kong, authorities have set up a special task force and are collaborating with their peers on Mainland China and Macau.