Chuvit Kamolvisit, a lawmaker who made his fortune with a string of massage parlours and hotels, last week showed a video clip in Parliament purportedly recorded at a casino on Rama IX road in the heart of the capital.
The outspoken MP, who has admitted to bribing authorities in the past, criticised the Government of Prime Minister Yingluck Shinawatra for failing to tackle the problem.
Announcing the clampdown, Deputy Prime Minister Chalerm Yubumrung said Monday that he had spent more than a year gathering information on casinos while his party was in opposition until its election win last month.
“Not only the casino on Rama IX road, but also other casinos in other areas will no longer exist,” he told reporters.
He said two senior officers had been assigned to oversee the crackdown but if the metropolitan police would not close the casinos then he would ask other agencies, such as the border patrol police, to do the job.
Chuvit’s party won four seats in Parliament last month with a pledge to fight corruption.
“I am the insider, I know how to pay. I know how to bribe,” he told AFP in an interview in June. “You see bribery in Thailand is a deeper issue, problem than anyone can think.... but no one wants to say the truth.”
Most forms of gambling are outlawed in the kingdom but it remains popular in a country where corruption is rife. – AFP