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The UK Government Benefits from a 15% Levy on Gambling Sites – Will the Thai Government Ever Legalise Online Gambling and Follow Suit?

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The UK Government Benefits from a 15% Levy on Gambling Sites – Will the Thai Government Ever Legalise Online Gambling and Follow Suit?

In 2020, almost one in four adults said they had gambled online in the previous week when asked the question during a telephone survey by the UK Gambling Commission.

According to current UK gambling laws, none of these people would pay tax on any winnings. However, the casinos’ operators pay a 15% levy to the government on their earnings.

For almost two decades, some high-profile people in Thailand have suggested that the Thai government takes a similar approach and legalises gambling, including online casinos.

This legalisation has not happened yet. Let’s take a closer look at the current situation regarding gambling in Thailand, what the future may hold, and what the Thai government would see if it looked at what is happening in the UK regarding online gambling revenue and taxes.

The present and future of gambling in Thailand

Most forms of gambling are illegal in Thailand and have been since the implementation of the Gambling Act in 1935.

The only exceptions to these laws are betting on horse racing and participating in the government-sponsored Thai lottery.

The legality of the situation has not stopped people from gambling online over the years.

A survey by Thailand’s Centre for Gambling Studies and Centre for Social and Business Development showed that 57% of those asked had gambled during the previous year, with 1.6% having gambled online.

In 2020, the Ministry of Digital Economy and Society undertook a campaign against online casinos.

As a result of this campaign, several offshore gambling sites were blocked from operating in the country.

However, many people in Thailand suggest that the example of the legal state lottery shows that other forms of gambling should be legalised. The lottery was launched in 2003.

Since then, illegal lotteries have struggled to survive, and the government benefits from the 0.5% stamp duty that winners pay.

People who want other gambling to be legalised theorise that doing so would reduce the number of illegal gambling venues and remove the need for people to use offshore casinos online.

The government could also raise some much-needed revenue.

There is no suggestion that the Thai government is looking to do this right now.

However, it may, in the future, look at other countries like the UK to see what the legal gambling landscape looks like there.

How does Thailand compare to the UK online casino landscape?

In the UK, gambling, including online gambling, is legal. Operators providing gambling services pay a 15% levy on their earnings which benefits the government.

In the year 2017/18, the government received gambling duties of £2.9 billion.

Gambling yields vary from year to year, in 2019/20 they reduced to £5.7 billion as a result of the pandemic; however, the gambling duties paid remain significant.

UK casinos, including online sites, are regulated by the UK Gambling Commission. They are also part of the GAMSTOP scheme.

However, there are also a lot of casino operators outside of gamstop that provide fair and secure services to people in the UK.

Looking at the amount of duties that could be available and the regulation of the industry to reduce the number of illegal operators, supporters of legal gambling in Thailand say it would be a positive move.

However, currently, the government is set on its path to crack down on gambling in the country, and there is no immediate sign of this situation changing.

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Salman Ahmad is a seasoned writer for CTN News, bringing a wealth of experience and expertise to the platform. With a knack for concise yet impactful storytelling, he crafts articles that captivate readers and provide valuable insights. Ahmad's writing style strikes a balance between casual and professional, making complex topics accessible without compromising depth.

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