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Betting in Thailand

Published on: 08/08/2016

Gambling is an illegal practice in Thailand, with the exception of a couple of controlled betting activities. A State Lottery is available and managed by the Thai government. The lottery has no connections with sports, but is similar to foreign lotteries. Thailand’s Lottery also benefits the country’s economy.

The other exception is horse racing. It is legal to wager on horse racing, but only within Thailand - betting on foreign horse racing is banned, as is gambling on sports. A popular track in Thailand is the Bangkok Turf Club, which holds regular events.

Due to Thailand’s rigid gambling laws, illegal underground betting attracts considerable interest. The criminal gambling organizations in Thailand have a very poor reputation. Not only do these unauthorised bookmakers break the law, but they do not follow the basic rules of the betting trade - for example, many customers do not receive the pay-outs that are owed to them.

Thanks to strict policing, many organizations are quickly caught and disbanded. As a result the Thai citizens are wary of wagering with these underground gambling rackets.

Unlawful gambling websites face similar problems, as online betting activity is not difficult to trace in Thailand. This leads to many betting websites being closed down and customers losing out financially. An easier and more reliable option for Thai gamblers is to travel across the borders into nearby countries where sportsbooks are permitted.

Currently, The Thai government has not been able to stop foreign sportsbooks from providing wagering options to the locals. Thai citizens are more likely to frequent off-shore sportsbooks as they have limited gambling options in their own country. Foreign gambling companies are well aware of the situation and are happy to take advantage of the potential to obtain a large amount of trade.

However, foreign internet sportsbooks do offer a reliable alternative to the illegal underground operations.