Thailand's Gambling Industry Rise

Gambling

The true nature of gambling industry in Thailand is shrouded in mystery, despite the strict ban on betting, the nation’s online casino revenue continues to flourish.

Gambling laws in Thailand are considered as one of the most severe on Earth. The kingdom has imposed a full ban against all of the gambling activities in the nation. The only exceptions are the state lottery and horserace betting. 


Despite the strict betting laws in the country, the nation’s gambling rate is still emerging.

Thailand gambling laws


The Gambling Act of 1935 states that ownership of gambling establishments is not allowed and proper punishment will be placed to the offenders. Under the law, private ownership of casinos is prohibited in the country and casino games such as slotxo, poker and dice games should not be monetized. 


Another law that is related to gambling in Thailand is the Playing Cards Act. The law states that private ownership of more than 120 playing cards is illegal unless allowed by the government. This is supposed to prevent the establishment of gambling establishments that wish to operate casino games.

Underground gambling culture in Thailand


Despite the gambling laws imposed in the Southeast Asian nation, the total revenue of gambling industry in Thailand is relatively high. According to a survey conducted in 2020, punters have gambled at least US$670 million in 2020 alone.


According to further studies, this rise in both the number of punters and the total earnings of the industry can be attributed to the existence of the underground gambling operations in Thailand. 


Underground lottery alone has produced US$5.1 billion in total revenue despite the existence of the government-run lottery. Some reports said that offenders were arrested by the police but most of them got away and were not convicted.


This has led to the belief that the underground gambling network in Bangkok is so intricate that none has ever penetrated this network before. This is due to the fact that these syndicates have strong ties to the authorities and government officials themselves who are protecting these underground operations.

The gamblers are risking their lives to cross borders 


Another factor that contributes to the rise of gambling revenue in Thailand is the regular crossing of locals to the borders to play in the casinos in neighboring countries of Burma, Cambodia and Vietnam where gambling restrictions do not exist.


Local gamblers in some provinces near the borders are regularly going to these casinos in border countries to play unrestricted. However, despite the efforts of the authorities, no one seemed to have been convicted for the same reasons as above.

Thai gamblers are going online


One of the flaws of the existing gambling laws in Thailand is its lack of definition of the exact scope of the law. The law states that gambling is prohibited in privately-owned gambling establishments but it does not mention restricting those who are existing online. 


This has led many Thai gamblers to join online casinos like TBSBet who are existing offshore. Online gambling became popular in the country as there is no existing legislation that covers online betting in the country. 


However, in September 2020, it was stated that at least 748 illegal online casinos were shut down by the officials as a part of the implementation of the gambling law. Many punters have taken their frustration to the government’s restrictions to bet online instead. 


The much tighter monitoring attempt of online activities by the authorities, has led many punters to use alternative methods to access online casino sites such as the use of Virtual Private Networks or VPN.

Thai influencers are getting compensated to promote casinos


At least 6,500 individuals were arrested by the Thai Royal Police for gambling-associated charges. Among these individuals were known as “web pretties”, these social media influencers were being recruited to promote illegal casino sites.


One of their jobs is to post sensitive parts of their body such as cleavage to attract online punters to join their site. One of the women who was caught amidst that she was paid at least US$250 per week to perform these tasks.

The future of Thailand gambling 


A current study was conducted and has shown that the proposed legalization of gambling in Thailand could provide US$2.8 billion to the revenue of the country. 


However, the legalization of gambling could be a challenge as the country remains predominantly Buddhist and gambling considered a sin in Buddhist standards. Furthermore, a proposal by Prime Minister Prayut Chan-o-cha to start public talks about the legalization of gambling is ongoing.

Takeaway


Gambling in Thailand is prohibited, that is why many Thai citizens resort to a lot of ways to gamble such as betting on Solarbet. The legalization of gambling in Thailand is a long process and it could take a lot of years to make it happen.


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