Irish Social Media Star Convicted of Promoting Gambling in Thailand

When the Thai government wanted to make a point about how serious it is about enforcing anti-gambling laws recently, it looked for some high-profile names to make an example of. In doing so, they ran across a less-than-nefarious group of criminals known as the Net Pretties.
The Net Pretties are, however, hardly anyone’s idea of a hardened criminal gang. They are, in fact, a group of six social media starlets that include 19-year-old Jessie Vard. Vard is an Irish citizen who has lived in Thailand since she was a child and has made a name for herself as a popular Instagram model.
That popularity led her to a paid endorsement for an illegal Thai sports betting site and that’s where her troubles began.
Vard and five other social media stars who endorsed the betting sites caught the eyes of Thai law enforcement who saw their Instagram posts and fell in love…with the idea of charging them with illegally promoting gambling, according to the Bangkok Post.
Hell bent on making their point about sports betting, Thai authorities painted Vard and the other five women as hardened criminals who were running from the law. In truth, Vard and the other girls turned themselves in to a Thai police station where she was issued a $30 fine and a 30-day jail sentence, which was suspended.
In return, Vard and the other girls recorded ant-gambling messages aimed at protecting Thai youth from the dangers of illegal gambling. It’s a message that the people of Thailand are unlikely to heed as World Cup soccer action heats up over the course of the next few weeks.