Thai lottery chief charged with overpricing tickets, three further firms face punishment

Thai lottery chief charged with overpricing tickets, three further firms face punishment
Image: Shutterstock

Panthawat Nakwisut, CEO of Kong Salak Plus, has been charged by police for allegedly inflating the price of Thai lottery tickets and violating the law on direct sales.

As reported by the Bangkok Post, Panthawat stands accused of breaching the 2002 law on direct selling by reselling government lottery tickets online at an exaggerated price.

Three other online lottery sales platforms – Hong Thong Lottery, Lottery 80 and Red Tiger Lottery – also face legal action over similar business practices.

It is the latest development in the overpriced lottery ticket scandal that has stained the Thai lottery industry over the past 12 months.

Investigations were launched last year into a number of lotteries accused of selling tickets above the 80 baht price set by the Government Lottery Office (GLO), and last July, three arrests were made in connection with the sale of overpriced digital lottery tickets.

The Kong Salak Plus headquarters – located in Bangkok’s Watthana district – was raided early last year as the authorities sought to swoop in on vendors breaking the law.

Now, the CEO of the online lottery ticket platform has been forced to meet investigators this week at the Consumer Protection Police Division (CPPD) to answer the charges pressed against him.

Director Chatupha Bunsuwan has also been summoned to answer charges of colluding to conduct direct selling without registration and selling lottery tickets at prices higher than the proper rate of 80 baht per ticket.

If the individuals are found guilty of selling overpriced lottery tickets they could each be hit with a maximum fine of 30,000 baht. The punishment for violating the direct selling law is even stronger, with the suspects facing up to a year in prison and potentially a fine of 100,000 baht.

Panthawat has admitted reselling government lottery tickets at an inflated price but has denied a charge of violating the direct selling law.

He later took to social media, insisting he was innocent and that he intended to fight the case in court.