Gambling is a social recreation that is inherent in many cultures especially in Asia, where people have a penchant for believing in numbers and charms. Thailand for one is a country in which lottery is a big thing, where even bus tickets can be a lottery entry. Even the monks of Thailand play an important role, as one of their important duties is to recommend potential winning numbers revealed through their examination of tree barks.
Thailand’s Previous Bout with Legalized Gambling
The Thai government tries to curb the Thai people’s fascination over gambling by limiting their betting choices to lottery and horse races. There is good reason for doing so because there was a time during the 1930’s that casino gambling was legal. Unfortunately, this did not bode well for many Thai citizens due to some negative factors.
As a regulatory rule, casino gaming was supposed to be exclusively for the rich people. Yet casinos opened its doors to anyone who wanted to gamble, while operators practically ignored gambling regulations. The Ministers in charge of overseeing the implementation of gambling laws were quite lax in carrying out their supervisory duties as well.
The results were disastrous as many fell into huge gambling debts, which led to slavery for those who could not afford to settle their gambling obligations. As the turns of events have it, the public, with the help of Thai media called for the closure of the casinos. The government investigated and responded by declaring gambling illegal, except on lottery and horse races.
Actually, what was proven was that the country’s officials had no political will to make the gambling laws work, as it also opened up avenues for corruption. Nonetheless the ensuing political reforms of the 1960s up to the 1990s, enabled the country to enter a long period of economic boom. Thailand’s new policy makers focused on economic and social development projects, which provided jobs to millions of Thai citizens.
In fact Thailand became an excellent example for developing countries. In a matter of years, it was able to pull itself away from its low-income status to becoming a middle-income country with a greatl\y reduced poverty level.
Gambling in Thailand Today
Today, gambling in Thailand is still prevalent as a form of recreation but not rampant to the point of addiction. In a 2017 study conducted by the Mathematics Department of the Mahidol University, Dr. Pannapa Changpetch, studied the statistical data set gathered by Treenet in 2011.
Dr. Changpetch was able to draw a profile of gambling among Thai household, which revealed was high in families who have annual income of at least 25,000 bahts. These are mostly Buddhist households located in the northern region where the head of the family is between 35 and 55 years old, with less education but actively involved in regular work.
The effect of the US-China trade conflict had also resulted in the weakening of demand for Thai’s export products. As it was for many countries across the globe the COVID-19 outbreak in 2020, stunted Thailand’s economic growth.
Nevertheless, the Thai government acted to bolster economic activities despite business closures and loss of employment. Thai citizens received financial assistance from the government.
The lockdown and mandatory quarantine period also gave avid Thai gamblers opportunities to engage in online gambling. In keeping with their fondness for numbers games, baccarat gained the most attention. Baccarat is also known as Lucky Nine, because it’s the number that can easily beat that of the dealer’s; or in some cases, result to a draw if the dealer’s cards also achieve a winning 9 total.
As Thailand is also known for its beautiful women, online casinos that offer live เซ็กซี่บาคาร่า (sexy baccarat) games have become popular as go-to online gambling sites. The “sexy” description alludes to the beautiful female casino dealers, who hosted live casino tables, wearing skimpy, flesh-revealing garments.