Indian Gambling Kingpin Among Those Arrested in Thailand Casino Raid

  • Thai police bust 84 other Indian nationals netting over ₹100 crore ($12.2m) of in-play money
  • While Thailand has earmarked Pattaya for a legal casino, this form of gambling remains illegal
Pattaya, Thailand
Thai police have raided an illegal makeshift casino at Asia Pattaya Hotel in Chon Buri province, netting a high-profile Indian gambling investor. [Image:]

A bust on the Asia Pattaya Hotel led by 100 law enforcement officers from Bang Lamung police station in the Thai province of Chon Buri has netted a very unusual haul after discovering a makeshift casino in the hotel’s convention room, complete with over ₹100 crore ($12.2m) of in-play money.

Among the busted group of 84 Indian nationals was a certain Chikoti Praveen Kumar, a high-rolling gambling investor who allegedly runs a floor at the Big Daddy floating casino in Goa. A Twitter user shared an image of the high-profile Kumar, along with other details of the Monday bust:

According to Inside Asian Gaming, Kumar, who allegedly also regularly hosts casino nights in Nepal, masterminded the flying in of “mainly Indian tourists from Hyderabad to gamble at the event.”

While Thailand lifted its betting ban on bloodsports such as cockfighting in February, most other forms of gambling are illegal, even though around 35 million of Thailand’s adult population gamble via illegal means.

Which means Kumar and his associate, former politician Madhava Reddy, will face charges for shipping in dealers from India and gaming equipment such as baccarat tables for the six-day event.

gamblers bet over ₹500m ($6.6m) each day, with their illegal casino activities livestreamed

The Thai Public Broadcasting Service cited police as saying the gamblers bet over ₹500m ($6.6m) each day, with their illegal casino activities livestreamed to India. While Thailand has earmarked Pattaya, plus Bangkok and Phuket, for opening legal casinos, it won’t happen in time to save Kumar and the other 84 people in his party.

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