Gambling in Thailand: What You Need to Know

Back home in Scandinavia, I love gambling. I like to play on sports, lotto and some casino games. I also used to play a lot of online poker. But in Thailand, you have to understand its strict anti-gambling laws. The only exceptions are the Thai Lottery and Horse Race Betting. The Horse Race Betting is the only kind of sports betting activity available in Thailand. Betting on foreign horse racing is however strictly prohibited.

Horse Racing Royal Bangkok Sports Club
Horse Racing at Royal Bangkok Sports Club. Photo credit: Beyond Khao San road

As a tourist in Thailand, you don’t need to worry about having a deck of cards to play with family or friends. But to participate in any card game for money runs the risk of fines, jail time or deportation.

Thai people love lotterythai-lottery-ticket

The Thai lottery is big business. More than 19 of 67 million Thais played the lottery, spending 76 billion baht (US$2.3 billion) last year, according to the Family Network Foundation’s Secretary Wanchai Boonpracha.

So, next time you’re in Thailand, and feeling lucky, why not buy a lotto ticket. The official cost per ticket is 40 baht, and you can win up to 30 million baht.