Thai elephants kicked off an anti-gambling campaign in Thailand

An anti-gambling campaign was kicked off by Thai elephants ahead of the World Cup.

Nine elephants, painted with flags of countries competing in the 2018 event in Russia, played a 15-minute football match to raise awareness against illegal gambling.

They played against students from a local school.

Betting or promoting gambling on football is a criminal offense in Thailand.

Those who get caught often face only a small fine of 1,000 baht (26.45 Euro’s).

A survey by the University of the Thai Chamber of Commerce forecast 59 billion baht (1.56 billion Euro’s) in World Cup betting in Thailand this year, contributing 0.2 percent to economic growth.

In Bangkok, police say they have arrested 763 people in 681 cases of illegal soccer gambling since May 1.