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Thailand's Online Lottery Gambling Under Political Attack

Online gambling was brought to the Thailand Lottery to abate illegal gambling, but the nation's prime minister says the fear of unproved social ills forces the end of the system.

Play Now at English Harbour! Thailand's prime minister says he is concerned about the potential social damage of online gambling. Abhisit Vejjajiva told reporters this week that he is searching for a way to void the contract for the country's Internet lottery.

Despite a dearth of evidence around the globe in proving the supposed social costs, such as increased problem gambling, of Internet gaming, Thailand's leader becomes the latest to use unsubstantiated urban myths about online gambling to try to ban it.

The online lottery was instituted by the prime minister's predecessor as a way to curb illegal gambling. But now, Abhisit says only the problems of canceling a contract with a private company keep him from ending the lottery, and he asserts he will find a way out that avoids a lawsuit.

"From my point of view, I see the cons of the online lottery," stated Abhisit. "If it can be avoided, it should be."

Opposition leaders say the only problem Abhisit has with the lottery is that it wasn't his idea. They say ending the online gambling system would foster black market gambling, revenues for education would be sacrificed, and Loxley Technology, the lottery operator, would be due huge compensation.

Published on January 3, 2010 by A.J.Maldonado

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