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Govt tells MCOT to reconsider ads of controversial online lottery ticket platform
TUESDAY, JANUARY 17, 2023
The government has ordered MCOT Plc to review sale of advertisements by controversial lottery ticket platform Kong Salak Plus on Modern Nine TV.
PM’s Office Minister Thanakorn Wangboonkongchana said on Tuesday that he had discussed with the management of Modern Nine TV on Monday and asked the management to review ad airtime sold to Kong Salak Plus.
“I told the management to review whether the ads could be discontinued. Everything must be carried out according to the law and a final decision should be reached soon,” Thanakorn said.
Asked whether the ads should be suspended now pending a final decision, Thanakorn said the TV station of MCOT Plc must first look at the contract and the law to see whether it could be done.
“If the contract is broken, the TV station may be sued,” Thanakorn explained.
Earlier, Kong Salak Plus had bought airtime copyright during the Asean Football Federation Championship broadcast on Modern Nine TV. The tournament ended on Monday with Thailand emerging champions.
On Monday, the Metropolitan Police Bureau led representatives from the Office of the Consumer Protection Board, the Anti-Money Laundering Office, the Revenue Department, and the Department of Special Investigation to raid the head office of Kong Salak Pus at SSP Tower in Bangkok’s Watthana district.
The raid followed a complaint filed by the Government Lottery Office that Kong Salak Plus had bought up lottery tickets from small vendors for retailing at inflated prices, or about 105 baht per ticket, compared to the face value of 80 baht.
Kong Salak Plus says the extra 25 baht is for service fees and it always asks buyers before paying whether they want to support the platform by paying the fees.
The practice drew support from a lot of patrons and lottery tickets scanned and sold on the platform were quickly snapped up by buyers.
Kong Salak Plus CEO Phanthawat Nakwisut initially sold the scanned lottery tickets on the previous platform, Kong Salak.com, for 80 baht each without extra fee. However, he said his arch-rival, Blue Dragon, offered prices higher than 80 baht to lottery vendors, prompting them to sell to Blue Dragon so he had no tickets to sell. Eventually, he set up Kong Salak Plus to sell lottery tickets with extra service fees in direct competition with Blue Dragon by offering a tempting price to retail lottery vendors.
Kong Salak Plus has been under scrutiny since last month on the orders of Prime Minister Prayut Chan-o-cha after Phanthawat announced a whopping 18 billion baht in sales last year.
The 15-day investigation ordered by the Government Lottery Office, the Anti-Money Laundering Office and the Department of Special Investigation will focus on the business operations and tax filings of the popular lottery ticket seller.