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Thailand is About to Legalize Gambling

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Thailand is About to Legalize Gambling

Thailand has a long history of enabling gambling practices. Yet, the rules in the country regarding online and offline gambling are surprisingly strict.

With the government introducing new schemes to attract tourists to the country, many predict that the gambling laws will be relaxed soon.

While nothing has been confirmed so far, gambling enthusiasts in the country are hopeful about a change.

Let’s take a closer look at the gambling industry in Thailand.

The legality of gambling in Thailand

The Gambling Act of 1935 banned most forms of gambling in Thailand. In essence, only the country’s government lottery and horse racing betting are legal.

Therefore, all other types of gambling, be it in a Bitcoin casino or a land-based casino, are technically illegal.

It is not even allowed to own more than 120 playing cards unless the government has granted permission. The rule is based on the Playing Cards Act.

All in all, the gambling laws in Thailand are quite restrictive. However, this does not stop the people in the country from indulging in various gambling activities. The following are the specifics of the gambling rules.

  • Online gambling
  • Lottery
  • Government lottery
  • Brick-and-mortar casinos
  • Sports betting

Online gambling

It is not legal to gamble online in Thailand. The Ministry of Digital Economy and Society of Thailand announced that it would block all online casinos used by players in the country in 2020.

The move was carried out with the assistance of various state agencies. Several of these casinos were operating within the country and were making billions of bahts.

According to official reports, the casinos made over 1 billion baht each year. Several arrests were made, and over 190 websites were banned.

There was much outrage against the move since many regarded the ban as an infringement of their rights.

Online gambling is still restricted in the country. However, players use VPN services to access the blocked sites and continue gambling.

Lottery

The lottery, also known as “huay”, has been played in Thailand for centuries. Its origins can be traced back to 1820 when Chinese immigrants came to the country. It was not popular back then and was only the pastime of the immigrants.

Later, it spread across the country and was later recognized as an official means to bring more revenue to the nation. While the lottery has such historical significance, only the government-approved ones are legal in the country.

Government lottery

The introduction of the government lottery in Thailand is nothing new. It has been happening since King Rama VI was ruling the country.

Later, in 1939, the Lottery Bureau was established to organize lotteries. It was developed by Plaek Phibunsongkhram, popularly known as Marshal P. Now, the lottery draws happen regularly, typically once or twice a month.

Around 38 million tickets are sold during each session. While 60% of the sales are handed out to the winners, the rest go to various government departments.

Brick-and-mortar casinos

It was in 1930 that land-based casinos were banned in Thailand. Until then, the government did not make any attempts to regulate gambling in the country.

It was largely done to appease the Chinese immigrants who were actively involved in gambling. Gambling was prevalent during the late 17th, 18th and 19th centuries, though it was officially illegal.

Sports betting

Football is a sport that is popularly watched in Thailand, and betting runs rampant. However, football betting is illegal in the country, and violations can lead to arrests.

In fact, thousands of people were arrested in 2010 while the World Cup was going on in South Africa. However, thanks to the latest technology, people in Thailand reportedly continue to do football betting.

The cultural and social connotations of gambling in Thailand

As it has been established, gambling has been practiced for centuries in Thailand. Siamese culture gives much importance to gambling, especially for betting on animal fights.

Siam used to be a hotspot for gambling, and the activities only increased with the advent of Chinese immigrants.

The government made allowances for gambling through the centuries, and attempts were made to legalize it in 1930.

However, due to media backlash, no legalization laws were passed.

Buddhism severely condemns gambling, which is one of the key reasons why the country is against the practice.

Several cases of gambling addiction and violence have been reported in association with illegal casinos in the country. Such cases point to the need for creating a safe and responsible gambling environment.

Top online gambling sites for players from Thailand

While online gambling is illegal in Thailand, there are foreign casino sites that players can access for their gaming needs.

A good VPN sevrice is necessary to do so. The followign are the top forieng gamblign sites that are popualr among Thai players.

  • UAEA8
  • We88
  • Rabona
  • Wazamba

All reserahc indicates that the gambling rules of Thailand are in dire need of a reform. Many expect revolutionary changes to the laws in the upcoming years.

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