Thursday, August 13, 2020

'Online gambling a major temptation for Thai children during Covid-19 lockdown'

Jul 10. 2020
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By The Nation

The Children and Youth Council of Thailand and allies organised a seminar to explore the behaviour of children and youth on the use of online media for gambling during homestay amid the Covid-19 pandemic.

An AIESEC survey of more than 1,000 children and youth during the Covid-19 period from March to May found that each day they spent more than six hours playing online, while online ads encouraged them to gamble up to 70 per cent of the time, Methavee Mek-um, council executive committee member, said.

"The age range of 15-19 watched the most gambling advertisements at 47.4 per cent, while the channel that was viewed the most was Facebook at 76.53 per cent, followed by websites or applications to watch movies, music, playing games at 70.64 per cent and Line 32.50 per cent," said Methavee.

After seeing the online gambling ads, 13.24 per cent of children and youth start gambling. The five most common types of gambling activities were: fish shooting 31.68 per cent because they look different from gambling but have the opportunity to earn money, followed by lottery bets (19.80 per cent), slot games (17.82 per cent), baccarat (15.84 per cent), and sports betting (14.85 per cent).

"Gamblers lose most of the time, a staggering 82.18 per cent loss record, but what is astounding is that the maximum amount to be paid is Bt100,000, while the smallest is Bt7,000," said Methavee.

Ronnarong Kaewphet, head of a justice-seeking advocacy network, urged the government to widen Section 12 of the Gambling Act to include online advertising which entices people indirectly to gamble.

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