What Are The Legal Gambling Activities in Thailand?
Thailand allows its locals to bet on horse races and government-sponsored Thai lottery. Thai society is known for having a rampant gambling industry. Locals bet on almost everything including bullfights, cockfights, and boat races.
In 1820, Chinese immigrants introduced the lottery to the locals. Known as “huay,” it was first played within the Chinese community. It hit the mainstream as King Rama III officially recognized it as an income-generating activity. It was also heavily promoted to help circulate the currency in the country.
The Lottery Bureau organizes the draws, which occurs twice a month every 1st and 16th day. The government sells 38 million tickets and 28% of the sales become government revenue, 12% goes to management and administration, and the remaining 60% is what goes to the bettors as prizes. The National Lottery is very popular to the masses because of its accessibility and availability. The country has a number of lottery vendors scattered on streets, markets, and villages.
Lottery tickets in Thailand are pre-printed and cost 40 baht per ticket. The tickets are sold in packs of two so the minimum cost is 80 baht for two tickets. Most sellers put a mark-up and sell the tickets for 120 to 10 baht but they are easily negotiable. Tickets with lucky Buddhist numbers often cost more than regular numbers.
Thailand lottery tickets are sold in two matching packs but the most important is the six-digit numbers. To win, those numbers must be drawn in exact order. The tickets have two more double-digit numbers with the bottom number indicating the type or batch of the ticket. For instance, some ticket batches have corresponding prizes: 3 million baht if all correct and 20 million baht if all correct plus 2 digit bonus correct. Prizes vary per batch.
The love for เว็บ 168 of Thai locals is so widespread that even the legalised lottery has a black market. It is not uncommon to see a person offering books that have better odds than the official draw. These bookies use the same numbers drawn by the National Lottery but the odds are different. Some of the best include:
Last Two Exact: tickets with the last two exact numbers get 1,000 baht for every 12 baht wagered
Last Three Exact: tickets with the last three exact numbers get 500 baht for every 1 baht wagered
Last Three Any Order: tickets with the last three numbers in any order get 90 baht every 1 baht wagered
Horse race betting is not as popular as the lottery as they are often reserved for those who belong in the high society and are often held in private clubs. There are public race days twice a month that allows legal betting. These horse races are under the military police. Foreigners who wish to place a bet may need to seek assistance from an interpreter since local bookmakers accept wager in Thai.
The government also allows betting on Muay Thai fights at permitted locations.
The main law governing gambling in Thailand is covered under the Gambling Act 1935. Upon review of the said law, one would identify 46 ministerial regulations and 16 legal opinions of the Council of State and a Royal Decree. Thailand also has the Playing Cards Act stating that making, owning, and selling of playing cards without prior approval from the government is a criminal act.