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Archive for July, 2015

12th July 2015

Gambling In Thailand

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In recent weeks there has been talk of casino legalization in Thailand. Speculation began in earnest after the national police chief in Thailand came out in favor of casino legalization noting support for regional casinos in Thailand (many have also noted their belief that Pattaya would be an ideal location for a Casino should legalization ever become a reality). Meanwhile, other officials in Thailand noted their opposition to Casinos in Thailand citing the knock-on social problems that often arise in conjunction with legalized casino gambling. Notwithstanding the fact that members of the national reform council were in favor of casino legalization and the notion had gained support from other notables, including the Thai finance minister, the issue of Thai casino legalization appears to be a non-starter. This is especially the case in light of the fact that the current Prime Minister of Thailand has quashed the idea of casino legalization occuring during his term of office.

Even though casino legalization may not be coming to fruition under the current government, there are some forms of gaming which are legal in the Kingdom of Thailand. Currently, it is legal to gamble on horse racing at two of the main horse racing venues in Bangkok and there is sanctioned gaming associated with horse racing outside of Bangkok. Concurrently, Lumpinee Boxing Stadium allows gaming related to the boxing events which occur on the premises. Finally, the lottery is also a legal form of gaming in Thailand. In recent months issues have arisen with regard to the price of lottery tickets in Thailand as the Thai government has attempted to enforce laws regarding the prices for such tickets quoted to the consumer public.

As of the time of this writing, online gambling is illegal in Thailand and many online gaming websites are blocked by the Thai authorities. One of the main argumentss in favor of legalizing gambling in Thailand has been the notion that doing so would capture much of the money which is lost to casinos operating along Thailand’s borders with her neighbors. Whether this argument is sound remains anyone’s guess as casino legalization has yet to occur in Thailand. Meanwhile opponents of casino gaming in Thailand point to moral qualms they have with the practice and also to the fact that many in Thailand do not have the financial means to enjoy casino gambling and the overall lack of financial ability to support gambling habits could lead to serious social and economic problems for Thai society as a whole.

Only time will tell whether Thailand sees legal casinos and if such a transition to legalized gaming results in a net benefit for the Kingdom of Thailand.

 

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