Thailand takes tough measures to fight online gambling

Thailand is stepping up to fight against online gambling by warning internet service providers and cellphone operators of legal action if they fail to block access to gambling websites 

On Monday, Government spokesman Anucha Burapachaisri confirmed that Prime Minister Prayut Chan-O-Cha has instructed the authorities including the Ministry of Digital Economy and Society, the National Broadcasting and Telecommunications Commission and the police to strictly take such measures to protect youth from partaking in to any forms of gambling online. 

The local mobile telecom operators and internet service providers in Thailand have been warned to immediately block access to a total of 1,202 gambling websites under court orders, which have been earlier issued, according to Burapachaisri.

The platforms would then have 15 days to comply or face legal action under the Computer Crimes Act and the Gambling Act. 

Watchdog slams Prayut policy statement for lack of rights ambitionLast week, Thailand’s government filed formal complaints against Facebook and Twitter for allegedly failing to comply with local court rulings ordering them to block content involving online gambling, porn, illegal drugs and unflattering profiles of the Thai monarchy within the required 15-day period. 

Minister of Digital Economy and SocietyBuddhipongse Punnakantasaid Facebook reportedly blocked only 215 of 661 offending accounts while Twitter had blocked only four of 69 suspect accounts on its platform. 

Punnakanta stated, “We are protecting our sovereignty, which may not mean protecting physical borders in the traditional sense but rather, as I said yesterday, that we are protecting our cyber sovereignty,” He declared that such attacks “happen fast and are constantly damaging Thais.” 

Another varying news, earlier this month, MongkolkitSuksintharanon suggested  the legalisation of gambling and proposed for the development of integrated resorts at key tourist destinations like Bangkok, Phuket, and Chiang MaiSuksintharanon justified the proposal based on the fact that gambling was on going in the country regardless of the existing prohibition. Moreover, the huge chunk of revenue generated from this sector will benefit the country. 

SiGMA Calendar:  

SiGMA Americas and AIBC Digital Summit were launched with great success in the past week, pushing the shifting grounds of the gaming industry towards LatAm and discussing the current developments in digitalisationIn a first for SiGMA, both the gaming and the tech segments of the conference were offered in 3 languages, English, Spanish and Portuguese.   

SiGMA will launch its next series of events in 2021, with SiGMA Europe headlining next year's calendar. Inaugural summits in Asia and Americas are also set to dominate the year, with SiGMA Asia launching in May 2021 and SiGMA Africa in 2022! Explore the full agenda here and register now! 

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