Online Casinos on the Climb in Thailand
There is no question about the Thai’s love for gambling. Individuals participate in both legal and illegal gambling activities. A survey by the Center for Social and Business Development revealed that 57% of Thailand’s citizens are gamblers. The CGS estimates that this percentage translates to 30.42 million Thai citizens.
According to Thailand’s gambling laws, citizens are only allowed to participate in the state-run lottery and horse racing. However, bookies are successfully running casinos through the back door.
Close to 22.7 million players participate in the state-run lottery, but this only accounts for a small percentage of gamblers in Thai. In fact, bookies have found ways to run unofficial lotteries via the black market, and reports show that they sell out faster than the legal lottery.
Thai citizens also love to indulge in card games, which are also illegal, according to the federal government. In Thailand, even owning a deck of cards is illegal, but people have found ways around these limitations.
The Rise of Gamblers in Thailand
Even before illegal gambling came into the picture, Thai citizens were already engrossed in gambling. In fact, government lotteries saw the largest rise in the number of gamblers in Thailand.
Later on, gamblers branched into dice games like Bầu cua cá cọp and Hi-Lo. The more options Thai citizens had, the higher the number of gamblers rose.
Next, sports betting joined the gambling scene, and the numbers skyrocketed. As you know, soccer is a globally popular game, and many fans like to wager on the sport. Even though fewer people bet on sports as compared to the state-run lottery, it accounts for the highest wagering per capita.
Even though the state-run lottery is how gamblers got introduced to lotteries, most of them ended up buying lottery tickets from underground lotteries. This is actually the same way gamblers found out about other illegal gambling entities like sports betting and card games.
Thailand is one of the fastest-growing markets in Southeast Asia, and it has led to a surge of new Thai casino sites being launched.
Online Gambling in Thailand
Thanks to online gambling casinos, Thais could seek out the real gambling experience on online casino platforms overseas. This meant that they could play without risking non-compliance to the country’s gambling laws.
Even so, online gambling remains an uncommon hobby in Thailand because local-hosted, internet-run casinos are scarce. The few gamblers in Thailand that explore online casinos overseas are inclined to playing Baccarat, online slots, sports betting, and card games.
Surveys show that most gamblers in Thailand are aged between 19 and 25 years. Older gamblers are 60 years and above. Half of all gamblers in Thailand have their very first gambling experience when they’re 20 years old.
Local Leaders Weigh in on the Matter
The reason why Thailand placed a ban on almost all gambling activities is to try and curb gambling addiction. If the statistics are anything to go by, it’s clear that too many youths over-indulge in illegal gambling.
According to state records, the Government Lottery Office prints over 100 million lottery tickets for each draw. This out-prints Thailand’s total population of about 68 million. Local leaders say that this alone promotes the habit of gambling among Thai citizens.
Besides, the over-accessibility of the lottery tickets means that there is no way to regulate who participates. Leaders say that Thailand needs tighter gambling regulations if they’re to enact real change in the foreseeable future.
Many problem gamblers in Thailand keep betting even though they have gambling debt. This will hurt Thailand’s economy and have a lasting negative impact on society if not fixed. Tightening access to gambling activities will, at the very least, prevent underage individuals from participating.
How Technology has Changed Gambling Patterns in Thailand
Thanks to technology, gambling has become more anonymous and convenient. This means that even implementing regulations outlined in Thailand’s gambling laws has become harder. The government needs new and advanced policies to keep up with and manage illegal gambling in Thailand.
Advancements like the availability of online lottery sales encourage, rather than manage, gambling in Thailand. This looks like a move to promote, rather than crack down gambling in the country.
The prohibition of most gambling activities in Thailand is a move to manage gambling addiction among the youth. However, these efforts don’t seem to be working because bookies always find a way around the gambling laws. It’s clear that the government needs to work harder to stop illegal gambling in Thailand before it causes real damage in society.
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