Most Popular Bookies in Thailand

In a culture where family matters, status is crucial, and yes sometimes means no, Thailand enjoys unique and vibrant social interactions. To protect its citizens, the government strictly prohibits most forms of gambling. For one interested in legally participating in Thailand’s betting scene, he is limited to the National Lottery or horse race betting.

For a country of devoted gamblers, these two options are not enough to appease the demand. Gamblers in the country support and participate in betting at illegal casinos, unsanctioned underground lotteries, and prohibited online betting options.

Most Popular Bookies in Thailand
Thai betting

Thai betting

Illegal betting operations in Thailand often offer better odds and options than legal betting choices. In fact, one survey estimates that at least 20 million of 65 million citizens bet on an illegal lottery in the country. These staggering statistics are an indication of how important gambling is to Thai citizens who appear to follow the laws on the surface.

However, many Thai citizens take advantage of opportunities to experience the thrill of betting by choosing illegal gambling options in the country. With the growing popularity of internet gambling, Thais and travelers to the country leverage the power of the internet to access more affordable and enjoyable betting opportunities. Keep reading for additional information about Thailand’s wagering scene: history, laws, and types of gambling.

Thai betting
History of Thailand sports betting

History of Thailand sports betting

Ancient China holds the key to the earliest evidence of betting in Asian cultures. When archeologists unearthed ancient tiles for games of chance, the discovery helped experts understand the origins and evolution of gambling in Asian countries and around the world. It’s believed that these tiles represent an early form of lottery or game of chance. In fact, the “Book of Songs” in China alludes to “drawing of wood,”

A game called Keno is a popular addition in modern casinos. However, it’s creation dates to China’s Han Dynasty. Also called baige piao, the game allowed players to choose numbers and characters.

Any player whose picks matched the random drawing won. Baige piao grew in popularity throughout China. Eventually local governments sanctioned the game for fundraising to support public works and the military. Some experts believe that funds from gambling helped to build China’s Great Wall.

Baige Piao literally means “White Pigeon Ticket.” Discoveries of these ancient tickets or Keno slips support the theory that gambling revenues paid for ancient public works activities. Asia’s gambling history evolved out of China, beginning more than 4,000 years in the past. Experts track today’s popular betting games like fan tan, lottery, and mahjong to China.

History of Thailand sports betting
Evolution of betting

Evolution of betting

In fact, Chinese immigrants introduced lottery games to Thailand. Experts believe that King Rama V was the first to issue tickets and King Rama VI leveraged the lottery to form a stream of revenue for the government, which continues to use lottery funds to support public works today.

For centuries, Thailand citizens have enjoyed gambling. It’s an integral part of Thai culture and society. Local gambling has long been a feature of Thai society. Citizens participated in more than 100 gambling games over the years, including bullfighting, boat racing, and cockfighting, which were an important part of the history of Thai culture.

By the 19th century, the amount of gambling increased significantly due to foreign immigrants and traders introducing a variety of games to the mainstream. As the popularity of betting grew, the Thai government allowed legal gambling operations.

Under the rule of King Rama III, legal gambling dens served as a source of government revenue. However, as criminal activity infiltrated the legal gambling dens, the government decided to curtail gambling operations and forbid gaming venues in 1917. This decision marked the beginning of a long and strict prohibition on most forms of gambling in the country for Thai citizens.

In 1930, legislators passed the country’s first gambling act, which was revised in 1935. At the time Ministry of finance Khuang Aphaiwong fulfilled the governments mission for legalized gambling. Beginning in the Pran Buri District, Aphaiwong officially promoted gambling. However, at the time, the unpopularity of betting prompted public outcries and criticism from the media. As a result, legal casinos didn’t last long, and the government once again prohibited gambling.

Evolution of betting
Betting nowadays in Thailand

Betting nowadays in Thailand

Today, Thailand holds the government sanctioned lottery twice monthly. Participants purchased tickets for drawings on the 1st and 16th days of the month. Sixty percent of sales from tickets are set aside for prize money. Twenty-eight percent is earmarked at government revenue. The government uses 12 percent of the monies from lottery revenue for management and administration of the extensive national lottery structure.

Even though it is legal, horse racing is not as popular as some other forms of gambling in the country. With only seven operational racecourses today, low-income citizens view the races for enjoyment. Elite, wealthy citizens tend to network at venues during race-day events.

Future of betting in Thailand

Even as thousands of illegal bettors are arrested in Thailand yearly, the government continues to crackdown on illegal gambling by focusing on operators. Even so, for citizens and tourists, gambling online is risky.

However, often authorities target operators, hoping to stem the tide of illegal gambling in the country by closing unsanctioned betting options. This trend is likely to continue. However, illegal gambling continues to grow, and government intervention is unlikely to prevent the wave of illegal betting options for Thai citizens.

Online betting is one avenue, which allows Thais to access gambling websites across the globe. Although the government blocks access to illegal gambling sites and tracks IP addresses, authorities are not able to stop all access. In fact, more than 70 percent of Thai citizens participate in some form of illegal betting, a trend that is likely to continue.

Betting nowadays in Thailand
Restrictions and fines

Restrictions and fines

These gambling restrictions leave two forms of legal gambling for Thais to enjoy: the government lottery and betting on horses. Any citizen or tourist who dares to participate in illegal forms of gambling is risking arrest. Underground casino operators are targeted by authorities. Traditional games, such as baccarat and slots, are specifically mentioned in the Act. Violators of the gambling law face possible jail time and a fine equaling 5,000 THB, which equates to $165 dollars.

Bingo, online sports betting, and raffles are also prohibited. However, those participating in these illegal gambling activities are fined less severely, with a penalty of 1000 THB, which equals approximately $33 in fines. Jail time is not likely but still possible for violators of less severe betting activities. For instance, if a Thai citizen is caught red handed while gambling at an illegal casino during a raid, he is likely to experience significant legal trouble.

Many Thais turn to online gambling, because the Act was written so long ago that it doesn’t cover online gambling. Gamblers are more likely to get in trouble for betting at an illegal land-based casino in Thailand than betting on the internet via computer or mobile. Bettors might have a good argument that betting online is not a violation of the Act. However, since authorities have taken steps to block gambling websites and the Gambling Act is broad in its wording, gambling online is also a risk.

Online operators

Just because the country does not currently crack down on individual bettors online, doesn’t mean that its policies won’t change in the future. Given the wide breadth of the Act, its language may allow for restrictions for Thailand’s online betting market.

Since the country does not regulate online gambling, unregulated sites are operated by unlicensed owners. Any gambler who participates in betting activity in unregulated sportsbooks and casinos may experience loss from disreputable actors. Any dishonest operator may fail to payout earnings and bonuses.

Lack of governance over online betting activities is leading to a rise in sports betting among Thais. Since local police focus on shutting down physical casinos, authorities have yet to curtail gambling websites, which are licensed in other countries beyond attempts to block access. Even though betting is illegal, online activity is becoming more popular among Thai citizens who enjoy sports.

Restrictions and fines
Thailand players’ favorite games

Thailand players’ favorite games

The popularity of online sports betting is universal across the globe. In Thailand, unauthorized sportsbooks offer access to betting on a variety of games. From basketball to soccer, sports betting is a major aspect of Thai culture. Legally betting on horse racing is only one aspect of the country’s gambling landscape.

Sports aficionados leverage knowledge about specific players, games, and history to place online bets and win. For a beginner, joining gaming leagues is one way to familiarize himself with sports betting. By using Virtual Private Networks (VPN), Thailand’s local population may bypass government blocks for online casinos and bet on popular games at via popular internet-based sportsbooks.

Soccer

The Premier League is one of the most popular soccer organizations for bettors. Licensed and unlicensed online sportsbooks offer wagering opportunities on soccer games by allowing bets on anything from the number of goals to the outcome of specific matches.

Football

Betting on the National Football League and college football is common practice for internet surfing bettors. Often spending thousands, Thailand online bettors experience the thrill of participating in overseas gaming. The internet offers opportunities to bet and watch football online.

Basketball

Even though bettors are drawn to betting on famous NBA players, college basketball offers a better rate of return. For Thais, bets on college games may offer more than 15 percent extra return for wins. Coupled with the trill of the game, betting on basketball games is a popular form of entertainment.

Thailand players’ favorite games
Payment methods in Thailand

Payment methods in Thailand

Casinos offering betting to Thailand citizens often use proven and safe deposit methods, including PayPal, Bitcoin, Entropay, and Neteller. These payment methods allow depositors to easily transfer cash to the casino account.

Other less recognized payment methods are also available at some online casinos and sportsbooks. PromptPay and EasyPay allow online betting sites to offer different options from more recognized providers. Even local banks participate in money transfers.

Some licensed casinos partner with Bangkok Bank, Kiatnakin Bank, SCB, and others to allow bettors to deposit and withdraw funds. Bitcoin is another option for funding accounts. The popularity of cryptocurrency affords players anonymity, which is preferable considering that most gambling in Thailand is illegal.

Before depositing funds, Thai bettors should research online sportsbooks and casinos to ensure proper licensing, data protection, favorable terms, and acceptable odds.

Payment methods in Thailand
FAQs

FAQs

Are online gamblers in Thailand arrested?

Betting in Thailand is illegal, except for horse race gambling and government sponsored lotteries. Citizens and tourists who participate in online gambling risk arrest. Even though the authorities focus on closing land-based establishments and holding operators accountable, the 1935 Gambling Act includes broad language, which authorities may interpret to include online gambling activities.

FAQs