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DSI urged to investigate crane game cabinets as 'they promote gambling'

Mar 14. 2020
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By THE NATION

The Department of Special Investigation (DSI) has received a petition from some non-governmental organisations to investigate the crane game business, as they believed it promoted gambling among youths.

Natthaphong Samphaokaew, representative of New Generation Anti-Gambling Network, and Wanchai Poonchuay, representative of Lawyers for Children and Adolescents Network, along with students from over 30 institutes on Friday (March 13) submitted a letter addressed to DSI director-general Pol Colonel Paisit Wongmuang.

“We surveyed 92 malls in Bangkok, Nonthaburi, Samut Prakarn, Lampang, Nan, Phayao, Surin, Ubon Ratchathani, Saraburi and Phatthalung provinces and found 1,511 crane game cabinets,” said Natthaphong. “In Bangkok alone, there are 1,077 cabinets. These cabinets have no licences and no age restriction for users.”

He further added that the Ministry of Commerce has prohibited the import of crane game cabinets, while the Gambling Act BE 2478 also prohibited officials from issuing licences for import and installation of crane game cabinets nationwide. “The fact that these cabinets are still here could mean there’s a violation of these laws, as well as the Customs Act and Anti-Money Laundering Act,” he said.

“We would like the DSI to investigate the legitimacy of these crane game cabinets and see if they are connected to the misconduct of government officials,” said Natthaphong.

Meanwhile, Pol Captain Piya Raksakul, the DSI official who accepted the letter, said that he would look into the matter in detail. “So far no one has brought this matter to the DSI’s attention,” he added.

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