All bets are off according to spokeswoman Pongsri Tharaphume who revealed “an investigation will be launched” into an incident involving an unnamed MP who allegedly engaged in gambling activities at his office in Parliament.
Parliament president Chuan Leekpai has requested an investigation to determine whether the MP violated the House’s code of ethics. The investigation was initiated in response to a petition filed on behalf of Chuan by Srisuwan Janya, secretary-general of the Association for the Protection of the Constitution, reported Bangkok Post.
Srisuwan reported that the MP, who is a member of a “long-established” political party, played card games for money with three other MPs in his office on Wednesday, January 11.
Srisuwan claimed that a spycam recorded the incident and that the video clip was sent to him anonymously. The video clip showed a clear image of the MP, but the images of the other three MPs were less clear. Gambling is illegal in Thailand, and it is a criminal offence under the MP ethics law as well as the Gambling Act.
Chuan, who also chairs the House committee on MPs’ ethical conduct, will decide on an appropriate punishment if the allegation is proven to be true.
Srisuwan emphasized that gambling should not be tolerated in parliament.
“This is a big deal. Parliament should be a gambling-free zone.”
He also alleged that gambling activities had taken place in the old Parliament building on U-thong Road, but there was insufficient evidence to take action against any alleged wrongdoers.
Srisuwan claimed that the MP who hosted the card game represents a constituency located approximately 100 kilometres from Bangkok. Srisuwan said…
“The MP has a history of gambling, and it was not the first time he had played cards in Parliament.”
He saw what he believed were tokens on the table that could be used later to redeem players’ winnings. Pongsri expressed gratitude on Chuan’s behalf to Srisuwan for bringing the matter to his attention through the petition.
The MP isn’t the only high-profile figure to face gambling charges. Last week a superintendent from the Provincial Police Region 2 was accused of being the mastermind behind the gambling website saipay69 which has 16,000 gamblers registered and a turnover of over 50 million baht.