BANGKOK: More than 1,000 punters in the Thai capital have been arrested in a crackdown on illegal gambling during the World Cup, police said Wednesday.
Bangkok`s force has arrested 56 bookmakers or their associates and 1,156 gamblers who have made bets totalling 3.4 million baht (105,000 dollars).
Thai courts have so far handed jail sentences ranging from one to six months to 24 gamblers, although most of the sentences have been suspended, the police statement said.
Most forms of gambling are outlawed in the kingdom but it remains popular, despite the threat of a 1,000 baht fine or jail term of up to one year for having a flutter on the tournament, which began on June 11 in South Africa.
Thai police have set up special centres around the country to stamp out World Cup gambling, which the University of the Thai Chamber of Commerce estimates will top 37.0 billion baht this year.
BDST: 1550hrs, June 30, 2010