British pensioners arrested during game of bridge in Thailand

Total of 32 people held after tipoff in Pattaya

Updated: 
ACOL Contract Bridge Hand. Opening 1NT.

A group of elderly bridge players were arrested in the Thai tourist resort of Pattaya during an anti-gambling raid on Wednesday.

The 32 foreign pensioners, which included British, Norwegian, Swedish and Australian citizens were held following a tipoff.

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Police raided the bridge club and arrested all members who meet three times a week in the room above a restaurant, Pattaya One reports.

As they were not playing for money, they were detained for possessing too many unregistered playing cards under a Thai law from 1935 that states no-one can possess more than 120 playing cards at a time.

According to the Guardian, reports suggest the organiser of the club is Jeremy Watson, 74, who was one of the men and women held. Cards, computers and a book of bridge results were seized.

The players were released on bail on Thursday.

A statement on the Jomtien and Pattaya Bridge Club website reads: Closed temporarily whilst we get a new licence to have cards on the premises... all problems have been solved with understanding by the authorities".

Thailand has strict anti-gambling laws and nearly all forms of gambling are prohibited.

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