Prayut Chan-o-cha, Prime Minister of Thailand, has defended the government’s recent crackdown on alleged overpriced lottery ticket vendors, denying accusations that they were politically motivated.
Last week, the Bluedragon Lottery had its headquarters in Nonthaburi’s Pak Kret district raided, as well as its subsidiary in Loei’s Muang district. Two million lottery tickets were seized following a police tip-off that they had purchased more than two million tickets from the quotas allocated to officially licensed vendors.
Meanwhile, in Bangkok’s Watthana district, Kong Salak Plus was also recently raided.
As reported by the Bangkok Post, Prayut was eager to quash suggestions that the ‘five tigers’, the large distributors that won the bulk of ticket distribution quotas from the Government Lottery Office (GLO) for an extended period, played a leading role.
These five private groups effectively controlled lottery tickets under the previous quota system and were blamed for inflated ticket prices.
“Stop talking about the five tigers,” Prayut said, as reported by the Bangkok Post. “[That quota] was scrapped long ago.
“The tickets are now distributed directly to registered vendors who have grouped together. We will keep working on it and we are monitoring them.
“There are no ‘five tigers’ or special quotas anymore. The quotas are now in line with the new GLO regulations after the National Council for Peace and Order (NCPO) came in.
“It has nothing to do with politics. It’s something the government has to do.”
The Thai government has previously considered moving to digital lottery tickets in order to combat physical retail vendors who sold lottery tickets at inflated prices.
Additionally, the Bluedragon Lottery has faced further angst in the form of Surachate Hakparn, the Assistant National Police Chief, who has requested the ministry seek a court order to block access to the lottery’s website.