Mengapa perjudian sedang berkembang pesat di Thailand meskipun yang mengharamkan sama sekali

Yaowarat Road, the centre of Bangkok's Chinatown, at night. Foto: Ninara

Satu kajian baru-baru ini mendedahkan bahawa 57% daripada penduduk Thai berjudi. 2.4% daripada mereka yang berjudi tahun ini berumur antara 15 dan 18 tahun.


Thailand’s gambling laws remain among the strictest on earth. The Thai government placed a full ban on almost all gambling activities in the country, with two exceptions: the state lottery and horse racing. Despite the country’s strict gambling ban, the gambling rate in Thailand is on the rise.

Thailand’s Center of Gambling Studies and Center for Social and Business Development reported that 57% of the country’s population, atau 30.4 million Thais, gambled during the past year. Angka ini adalah peningkatan sebanyak 1.4 million since 2017. tambahan pula, the survey also revealed that 700,000 of them are punters who gambled for the first time this year.

The survey also indicated that huge numbers of punters are children. 733,000 atau 2.4% of those that gambled this year were aged 15 ke 18 tahun. In addition to this, some three million or 46% are aged between 19 ke 25 years old.

Thai gamblers are going online to bypass restrictions

The popularity and market share of online gambling is growing rapidly every year around the globe. The global online gambling market is expected to exceed US$60 billion oleh 2020 with a compound annual growth of more than 9%.

Online Gambling is highly popular in Thailand despite the prohibition in the country.  Sekarang, there is no specific legislation covering online gambling but it is considered prohibited by the local officials.

Any gambling operation in Thailand is regulated by the Gambling Act of B.E.2478. This act prohibits all Thai citizens from playing any casino or betting games. This includes various Thai dice games, betting on animal fights, and other traditional Thai games such as slot machines, roulette, and other card games.

Pada September tahun lepas, dilaporkan bahawa 748 illegal gambling sites were shut down in the country this includes the popular but illegal Slot555.

Many Thais are using online casinos hosted overseas to circumvent the government’s restrictions. This leaves the Thai government with limited options to prevent players from gambling on foreign sites.

Walau bagaimanapun, the Thai Ministry of Information and Communication Technology has recently started monitoring the situation. The Ministry is reportedly watching local internet activity and blocking IP addresses found visiting any online casinos.

Despite its widespread use, online casinos are not as popular among Thais as other gambling segments. The Centre of Gambling Studies’ survey revealed that only 1.6% of those surveyed gambled via the internet. The study reported that punters wagered a total of THB20.2 billion (US$670 million) talian.

Football betting appears to be the most popular among Thai gamblers. Football betting generates about 160 bilion baht (US$5.3 billion) setiap tahun. It is closely followed by the underground lottery which produces 153 bilion baht (US$5.1 billion) and government-run lottery which take in 150 bilion baht (US$5 billion) from players.

Online casino bonuses draw in Thai punters

Most online casino websites offer a free credit bonus (atau คาสิโนออนไลน์เครดิตฟรี in Thai) to attract players. Bonus ini diiklankan sebagai percuma wang yang penonton boleh gunakan untuk bermain permainan kasino kegemaran mereka dalam talian. Jika penonton menang, mereka boleh menarik balik kemenangan mereka. lebih-lebih lagi, penonton sering menerima welcome bonus yang boleh menggandakan deposit awal mereka.  

Selain daripada bonus kasino, banyak kasino dalam talian menawarkan pilihan permainan percuma untuk memperkenalkan pengunjung baru dengan perkhidmatan dan permainan yang ditawarkan di laman web mereka. Ciri ini membolehkan pemain baru untuk bermain permainan di laman web tanpa mendepositkan wang tunai dan menghantar pertaruhan. Ramai pengguna menggunakan ciri ini percubaan percuma untuk bermain slot percuma (atau Percuma Slots Permainan in Thai) dan belajar mekanik permainan. Walau bagaimanapun, pemain tidak boleh memenangi wang manakala permainan bermain percuma; ahli sahaja boleh menggunakan fungsi ini untuk mengamalkan permainan.

Thai social media stars are getting paid to promote casinos

Pada tahun 2018, Thai police arrested more than 6,500 people on gambling-related charges. Among those arrested were social media celebrities, affectionately known as “web pretties”. A number of these web pretties are being recruited to promote online gambling sites.

To promote the gambling site, the social media stars are using pen or lipstick to write the domains of the online casino site on their cleavage or on other body parts. They will then post videos or photos of themselves on social media. One girl who was caught admitted that she was receiving THB4,000 to 8,000 (US$125-250) every week to promote a gambling site.

Apa yang berlaku pada masa depan?

A recent study revealed that the legalization of casino gambling could generate over US$2.8 billion from additional tax revenue. Walau bagaimanapun, the legalization of gambling in Thailand will remain off the table for the foreseeable future. Supreeda Adulyanont, manager of the Thai Health Promotion Foundation is pushing for tighter regulations on gambling this year.

But tighter restrictions will likely be ineffective at curbing gambling in Thailand. The major challenge for the government is to find an efficient way to control VPN use in the country and prevent punters migrating online to circumvent local restrictions.

Gambling in Thailand is here to stay. It will continue to occupy the grey area, remaining a highly illegal, yet totally accessible part of Thai society. There is little the government can do at this point beyond engaging in a lengthy and expensive game of cat and mouse.