“Connect Four” latest bar game to be axed as military voices gambling concerns
The popular game of Connect Four is the latest victim of the Thai government’s crackdown on what they suggest are subversive games being played in bars in Thailand.
Following attempts to license Darts and the arrest of pensioners playing Bridge last year the authorities are determined to clear up all suspicious activity in the nation’s entertainment venues.
Connect Four is a seemingly innocuous game in which participants take it in turns to make a winning line of four counters.
But beneath the apparent harmless exterior of what many thought was an innocent game for children lurks a murky world with connections to what local district chiefs are saying is “the foreign mafia”.
Police sources in Pattaya – where there is a hotbed of Connect Four activity centering on seedy beer bars – say that undercover operations have revealed serious problems related to illegal gambling.
A police report obtained by media Thai Rat yesterday said that an undercover officer in Soi Bua Khao confirmed that gambling on Connect Four was rife at the resort.
The officer concerned reported that he observed one caucasian come into an unnamed bar and apparently request a beverage as cover for his activities. His pockets were bulging, believed to be spare cash, as a lady boy approached.
According to the report he said: “G’day mate. Can I get a tinny?” He was believed to be Austrian, said Thai Rat as he had a strange foreign accent.
The lady boy served a drink but the incident continued suspiciously as he/she suggested a quick game of “Connect Four” not realizing that the plain clothes officer was listening in.
“You bet” said the foreigner, clearly indicating to the police that money was about to change hands.
A Pattaya police spokesman said that the image of the resort as a tourist friendly destination was at stake.
“Since we have stopped darts and bridge many more families have felt safer to come and spend money here,” he said on condition of anonymity.
“Stopping Connect Four should assist Pattaya and other places in Thailand to maintain their status as World Class destinations not just for Chinese people, but everyone”.
Stacking game Genja is also believed to be high on the junta’s “no-no” list.
A government spokesman, Maj Gen Lorlen Wantheeneungmesa said that the junta wanted crime solved but were keen to ensure happiness was constantly restored to the people.
With this in mind Maj Gen Lorlen said that packs of “Connect the Dots” pictures would be distributed free (minus pencils) to bars and entertainment venues as a wholesome replacement activity.
“Connect the Dots pictures will include airborne inflatables, submarines and luxury watches,” he said.
“And they will all be delivered in a handy brown envelope”.
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