Police expand probe into overpriced online lottery sales

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Police and lottery officials handed out booklets of tickets to the press during a search of the premises of Lottery Online Co in central Bangkok on Tuesday. It was part of a wider crackdown on overpriced tickets covering 12 provinces on Tuesday. (Photo: Nutthawat Wicheanbut)

On Tuesday, police launched a search of 33 locations in 12 provinces linked to the online sale of overpriced lottery tickets by the Kong Salak Plus website.

Among the locations searched was the head office of Kong Salak Plus, officially known as Lottery Online Co, at Sukhumvit Soi 63 in the Watthana district of Bangkok.

It was the second time the business had been raided with a previous one carried out at the end of last month when police found more than 4.4 million tickets, worth 100 million baht, in the company’s possession.

Authorities were unable to seize the lottery tickets, however, as they had been sold to customers.

Police said a warrant was issued for last month’s search after authorities were told the company had purchased lottery tickets believed to be allocated from officially licensed ticket sellers.

The raids in the 12 provinces were in response to the opening of 14 new lottery sales platforms. The provinces were Bangkok, Samut Prakan, Nonthaburi, Chachoengsao, Chanthaburi, Nakhon Nayok, Chon Buri, Yasothon, Nong Bua Lam Phu, Nakhon Pathom, Chumphon and Nakhon Si Thammarat.

According to police investigators, the search of the premises of Lottery Online Co aimed to find out whether the lottery tickets discovered there had been purchased legally within the quotas of the Government Lottery Office.

The company announced the price of its lottery tickets sold online for the May 2 draw at 95 baht each, drawing criticism from officials.

Panthawat Nakvisut, chairman of the company, insisted the company had done nothing wrong. He explained that lottery tickets were retailed online at 80 baht each, which is the legal price.

However, customers must pay an additional 15 baht per ticket as a so-called “carrier” fee. Mr Panthawat added that there is no law prohibiting customers from voluntarily supporting the website.

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