By The Nation
Dr Kittisak Klabdee, an adviser to the Public Health Minister, voiced concerns that the World Cup would bring with it potentially harmful products that would attract children and youth to gambling.
He referred to a report from the Department of Mental Health that showed their 1323 Hotline has been flooded during big sport matches with calls from parents about youths who were trapped in gambling debt.
“New technologies make gambling products and opportunities more accessible in our environments. I’ve been informed that there are about 213,000 Internet gambling websites and many of them are accessible in Thailand,” said Kittisak, who presided over the MoU signing ceremony.
“In 2015, it was reported that more than 52 per cent of the Thai population – 27.4 million people – were gamblers. Some 3 million children and youth were found involved in the gambling industry, and more than 270,000 of them admitted to being addicted to gambling,” said Kittisak.
The 11 agencies that signed the MoU were: Education Ministry, Ministry of Culture, Department of Provincial Administration, Department of Children and Youth, Department of Mental Health, the Office of the National Broadcasting and Telecommunications Commission, the Royal Thai Police, Thai Health Promotion Foundation, Thai Media Fund, Children and Youth Council of Thailand, and Thailand Youth Institute.
Under the MoU, all the 11 agencies will work together to prevent and minimise harm related to online gambling in four dimensions: increase public communication and social awareness of online gambling; promote and support production of knowledge related to the dangers of gambling and also promote children and youth’s activities in gambling prevention, and encourage law enforcement to suppress Internet gambling. The final step is to help those who are trapped in gambling.