Bangkok governor Chadchart Sittipunt has ordered a crackdown on illegal gambling after the discovery of a casino close to City Hall.
Chadchart said on Friday he had ordered all district offices to collect information on underground casinos operating in their jurisdictions and forward it to the police for legal action.
The governor added that the Bangkok Metropolitan Administration (BMA) is powerless to arrest gambling operators. However, Bangkokians could report suspicious gambling activity on the Traffy Fondue platform, which is connected to 88 police stations across the capital.
Chadchart said no complaints about illegal gambling had been filed on Traffy Fondue, perhaps because people mistakenly think the issue is not related to the BMA.
He also said the BMA does not inspect areas under its jurisdiction for gambling dens as this was not a priority.
Chadchart was asked about a casino in Din Daeng district near City Hall that was raided by police this week after reports it had been robbed. The governor said BMA officials should have been patrolling the area on the lookout for illegal gambling.
Reports are rife of Bangkok officials turning a blind eye to gambling in exchange for kickbacks, but Chadchart has vowed to stamp out the practice.
The governor emphasised that Bangkokians could report any issue on Traffy Fondue, from building regulation violations to public health hazards.
He added that he would collaborate on the casino crackdown with his adviser, Pol Gen Adis Ngamchitsuksri.