Thailand's notorious nightclub owners are forcing hostesses to dress up for a change - in World Cup soccer kit.
Recession-hit mamasans in the Ratchadapisek area favoured by Thai businessmen are insisting that girls wear either Brazil, France, Argentina or England strips for the duration of the tournament.
Police fear Bangkok's bars will be at the hub of a vast underground gambling industry that is expected to attract an estimated US$750 million (HK$5.8 billion) in bets during the World Cup.
Students have been warned that they, too, will face criminal action if caught gambling on school grounds.
Senior government officials have warned that civil servants on official business in Europe must not use state funds to sneak across to France to watch matches.
Foreign Ministry spokesman Kobsak Chutikul said that due to the recession, government employees should use state funds 'only for the country's benefit'.