Thai party leader Chuvit Kamolvisit pissed off the country’s police, journalists and gambling operators yesterday when he claimed at a press conference that some gambling den operators gave reporters computer notebooks as New Year gifts.
The opposition MP and former massage parlour tycoon, who has disclosed several illegal gambling dens in Bangkok, controversially told the conference that den operators have expanded their influence among police, politicians and journalists.
In a report by The Bangkok Post he said: “They delivered computer laptops to reporters covering the Metropolitan Police Bureau beat but the matter was covered up. They also claimed they have police generals to back them up.”
“This is a dangerous move, showing the influence of gambling den operators has expanded to every corner of society,” Chuvit added.
The Thai Journalists’ Association (TJA) was quick to respond, demanding that Chuvit should show the evidence, with the TJA’s vice-president for media rights and freedom, Sadet Bunnag, asking Chuvit to hand any evidence to media organisations so they could launch an inquiry into the claim.
He did, however, show reporters at the conference pictures of a room containing gambling machines and equipment, saying the images showed a new casino which will allegedly open this month fitted with modern gambling equipment, similar to legal casinos in Macau.
“It is similar to the casino in Ratchadaphisek area that was closed down last August,” he said. Stating that the Ratchadaphisek casino would in fact resume its business within a few weeks after his news conference because it could generate more than 20 million baht of revenue each month. “Whenever it reopens, I will video the place again,” Chuvit concluded.