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Thai Lottery Chief Ready for Challenges

5 January 2004

THAILAND --You're one of the top police officers in the land, commander of the powerful Crime Suppression Division and tipped to take up the number two spot at the Special Branch, overseeing investigative resources for the entire country.

"So why give it up?

"'I don't like just hanging on, day-to-day. I want a challenge,' said Pol Maj-Gen Surasit Sangkhathong.

"Certainly challenges will be plenty in his new post as the director-general of the Government Lottery Office. The government, led by Prime Minister Thaksin Shinawatra, wants the GLO to take a leading role in its high-profile crackdown against illegal numbers rackets.

"The GLO has similarly been tasked to study the issue of entertainment complexes and legalised gambling.

"…Another challenge for the GLO is to continue initiatives to bring the state-sponsored lottery into the computer age. Seven companies have passed preliminary screening for a multi-billion-baht project to establish an online lotto system, with the GLO now in the process of finalising technical evaluation requirements.

"…Pol Maj-Gen Surasit acknowledges that the career change will require a shift in mentality…"

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