Thailand is known for having very strict laws and regulations on gambling and betting. However, it does very little in deterring the local population and expats from playing in both legal and illegal gambling sites in the country.
Around 57% of the Thai population is said to be active in gambling activities, according to a study conducted by the Center for Gambling Studies of Chulalongkorn University in 2019.
To add to this, online casinos have been gaining traction over the past years. However, it still pales in comparison to the popularity of state lottery, legalized lottery and illegal gambling. Online casinos have drawn the younger generation who are more familiar and savvy in navigating the virtual platform compared to their older peers.
But it is only a matter of time before the older generation keeps up with the trend. Soon, the popularity of online casinos will catch up to, if not surpass, the more traditional forms of gambling and betting.
In Thailand, the strict gambling regulations themselves contribute to the steady rise of online punters. Since the Thai government provides very limited options, people who want to gamble turn to online casinos for the security, convenience, entertainment experience, and most especially, for better odds at winning.
What are the sports betting options available in Thailand?
In Thailand, the government has only legalized lottery and horse racing events. The national lottery operated by the Government Lottery Office (GLO) holds a draw two times a month. Around 19 million Thais or about 29% of the population play in the government-sponsored lottery.
They spend around 150 billion baht (US$5 billion) in a year. Despite this huge amount of collections, the payout ratio is a meagre 60% compared to the average range of 80-90% in other casino games around the world. Meanwhile, several race tracks are located in exclusive sports clubs around the country where only the elites can bet and wager.
It is for this reason that many illegal and underground gambling dens proliferate in Thailand. According to government authorities, around 200 onsite gambling dens operate in the country with 46 of these found in Bangkok.
An estimated amount of 153 billion baht (US$5.1 billion) are spent by players in these underground dens. In these gambling and betting parlors, people from lower income classes can wager on horse racing, cockfighting, football, and other sports. And although the amount of stakes are lower than the national lottery, the odds of winning are significantly higher.
However, underground casinos are heavily targeted by Thai authorities. Recently, a series of raids were conducted by authorities to crackdown on the illegal…