Thai police vow crackdown on Euro 2000 soccer betting

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Thai police will crack down on illegal betting during next month's Euro 2000 soccer tournament, a local newspaper reported Sunday.

Thai police will crack down on illegal betting during next month's Euro 2000 soccer tournament, a local newspaper reported Sunday.

European soccer teams have large and loyal followings in Thailand and other Southeast Asian countries, and betting on their games is widespread.

Betting activity usually crests during the World Cup but is also common for British and other European league play.

Police said they are especially concerned at the involvement of students in gambling, because they sometimes turn to crime to pay off their gambling debts, reported the Bangkok Post.

Bookmakers are active in many of Thailand's largest cities and use mobile phones and transfers of money through bank accounts to make their activities hard to detect, the Post quoted police as saying.

Police said they had asked the Education Ministry to order schools to take measures against student gambling and would stake out suspected downtown betting centers.

The Euro 2000 tournament will be held from June 10 to July 2.

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