History of Casinos in Thailand



20 February, 2024


When one thinks about Thailand, all that comes to mind are the breathtaking tourist destinations. But a healthy portion of the population engages in various forms of gambling. According to the country's legislation, all gambling activities are illegal except horse racing and lottery tickets. The situation is worsened by the fact that Buddhism is their official religion, and it kicks against these activities. However, many residents still play casino games online because gambling serves as a means of socializing. Register at คาสิโนออนไลน์ for exclusive games and bonuses. In this article, we highlight the history of casinos in Thailand.

The History of Gambling in Thailand 

Thailand's gambling history dates back to the 10th century, with the Chinese game Bean being the earliest recorded. In the 19th century, King Rama III made pronouncements allowing gambling houses around the Ancient Kingdom of Thailand in a bid to generate tax revenue. This led to an increase in addiction, bankruptcy, and crime. Therefore King Chulalongkorn (Rama V) prohibited gambling at the end of the 19th century. However, a lottery started in this period, gaining international recognition during a royal exposition. The gambling industry boomed rapidly, such that it funded Thailand's entry into World War I with the Allies. Several major achievements occurred in the country's history owing to gambling funds. 

Here is how it went:

  • In 1932, a lottery financed the Red Cross Charity works in Thailand.
  • The government joined in the action in 1934, accruing revenue to mitigate the income shortage due to the removal of the draftee tax.
  • By 1939, the Ministry of Finance took control of the gambling operations, creating the Government Lottery Office.
  • Furthermore, Thailand's government modified the gambling legislation in the mid-1940s for tax reasons. They permitted casinos to be run by the Ministry of Finance, though only admitting the elite.

The first casino in the country opened in Pranburi District, South Bangkok, but due to lax laws, things soon degenerated, causing the closure of all venues. And till today, most forms of gambling remain illegal in Thailand. 

Gambling Laws in Thailand

Despite the prevalent gambling ban in Thailand, players still have access to various options for offline and online use. However, playing illegally comes with complications like the casino site refusing to pay considerable winnings. So, punters are forced to move on as there is no regulatory body and are robbed of their profits. According to the Thailand legislation, there is a Civil and Commercial Code (Sections 853 and 855) that makes it illegal to enforce any gambling debt, whether to a friend or a casino. 

In Thailand, players have to rely on offshore casino sites with reputable licenses, offering more protection than their government. Most countries boast licensing bodies that regulate gambling activities. However, this is unavailable in the country, and all forms of gambling are illegal except for horse racing and lotteries. Also, the Thailand Ministry of Information and Communication Technology monitors gambling activities via internet traffic and prevents access to foreign casino sites from the country's IP addresses. However, most anti-gambling efforts are focused on physical casinos, allowing online gamblers more freedom.

The Future of Casinos in Thailand

Many believe Thailand has defined gambling laws, but the government plans to introduce regulations soon. There is a legal state lottery that has been operational since 2003, which led to a decrease in the number of illegal lotteries by fraudulent operators. The country's government keeps working on strategies to control the online gambling space by preventing access to foreign platforms. However, this is difficult due to the use of VPNs, which help Thai punters bypass IP-blocking technology. Hopefully, online casinos will become legal in Thailand sooner or later with central regulation to checkmate any lapses.

Can I Play Sports Bets in Thailand?

For anyone wishing to participate in legal gambling activities in Thailand, lottery tickets and horse racing are the only available options. You can purchase tickets at retail shops around the country and visit the racetrack to wager horse races. However, popular sporting events like Football and Basketball are banned within the country. Therefore, you might have to visit offshore online bookmakers to wager diverse sports betting markets.

Now You Are Prepared to Try

If you intend to join the gambling scene in Thailand or already own an account, it will not hurt to know a bit of the country's history with casinos. The only legal gambling options among Thai players are horse racing and lotteries. Also, there is no central regulatory body, so most punters play at offshore sites with foreign licenses. With this knowledge, you can confidently kickstart your adventure. 



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