Is gambling still illegal in Thailand?
Some tourists visit Thailand to test their luck and earn some foreign cash. Thai gambling rules are quite specific and have a lot of restrictions. Today AFP will talk about how to gamble in Thailand and not break the law.
Gambling is illegal in Thailand, but there are two exceptions. The first Gambling Act was passed in 1930 and revised in 1935. List A contains blood-sport type gambling involving animals and List B contains gambling games like bingo, sports betting, etc. According to the Playing Cards Act of 1943, illegal manufacturing of cards and playing with cards without involving money are also illegal. Small-scale gambling can be found on the streets, mostly luck-based tabletop games.
There are two types of gambling in Thailand: the Government-sponsored lottery and betting in the horse race. The lottery was introduced in Thai by Chinese immigrants. It is both sponsored and governed by the Thai Government. 60% of the prize money is returned to players, 28% is retained as Government revenue, and 12% spent on administration and management of event.
There are no legal land-based casinos in Thailand. Illegal casinos are abundant in Bangkok. They are underground and run by the local cartels. The casinos can be raided by police anytime without notice. If you want to gamble legally, you can visit the neutral zone near Cambodia.
Penalties for gambling in Thailand are harsh. List A gambling type can be punished with 5000 Thai Baht and a year in jail. Sports betting is also popular in the country. In the 2014 FIFA World Cup, more than 1400 people were arrested, most of them were bookies.
Gambling is illegal in Thailand, but it's safe to play online casinos. Most of the online gambling sites are run by foreign countries. People from other countries can play in Thai online casino. The winnings are held back and transactions do not reflect any amount in the winner’s account.
Thailand's gambling scene has become too dangerous for the government. If you are visiting Thailand, you should never participate in illegal activities.