The announcement by Chiang Mai Provincial Police yesterday that they were cracking down on illegal claw machines has today, May 8 resulted in two arrests.
The crackdown comes after police ruled that claw machines, also known as a claw cranea or doll’s chests in Thai, are Type B gambling class 2 devices under Thai law and hence are illegal to operate.
The arrests today related to two machines, one located near the cinemas on level four of the Central Airport Plaza in Haiya and the other at the Promenada Shopping Center in Tha Sala.
Ms. Jaruprapa Chantarawong, 32 from Pa Tan, the owner of a single machine at Central Airport, was arrested and charged “as the organizer of the gambling (pick up the machine to catch the doll automatically) device that allowed betting on property without permission.”
The second person arrested, Mr. Panyachot, Napa, 52 from Pa Daet, was arrested on the same charge for owning a claw machine at Promenada.
Police are said to be investigating the owners of other claw machines in the Chiang Mai metro area.