Court rejects call to shut down Mungkornfa platform amid lottery overpricing
The Criminal Court dismissed a petition from the Ministry of Digital Economy and Society (DES) today (Thursday) seeking to shut down websites run by the Mungkornfa online lottery platform, amid the government’s crackdown on overpriced lottery tickets.
Mungkornfa (Blue Dragon) has been accused of defrauding the public, and selling overpriced lottery tickets, among other issues.
The court ruled, however, that the company’s role is to collect lottery tickets from different sources and to serve as a channel through which the lottery tickets are sold by the vendors to customers and that it had nothing to do with setting the prices of the tickets.
Regarding the accusation that Mungkornfa used its logo to hide the draw date and the number of the draw of the lottery tickets, which amounts to distortion or dishonesty, the court ruled that the prosecution witnesses did not produce any evidence to prove dishonesty by the company.
The court also said that the company did not sell overpriced lottery tickets and, therefore, the company did not cause any damage to the Government Lottery Office or violate the Computer Crime Act.
After the court’s ruling, Mungkornfa’s lawyer Ananchai Chaidet told the media that the company would consider filing criminal lawsuits against the Royal Thai Police, the Government Lottery Office and the Ministry of Digital Economy and Society for causing hardship to lottery vendors.
He insisted that the crackdown on online lottery platforms is not the solution to the problem of overpriced lottery tickets.
Small vendors are supposed to sell tickets at 80 baht each, after buying at the rate of 70.40 baht (9% discount) from the Government Lottery Office (GLO). In reality, however, many tickets are being sold at over 100 baht each, and the price can be as high as 140 baht.
Police and officials of the GLO raided Mungkornfa’s offices in Nonthaburi and Loei provinces in late March and April and impounded about two million lottery tickets.
The company claimed that it did not sell lottery tickets directly to customers, but merely provided a service to facilitate the sale of the tickets between some 4,000 vendors, each of whom has a quota of 500 tickets per draw, and customers in exchange for a service fee of five baht per ticket.