Thai lawmakers pushing for the legalization of casinos should also consider legalizing online gambling and its offers of a more secure gambling environment. Today’s licensed modern day web casinos are highly regulated by one or more licensing bodies to ensure there is fair and responsible gambling. Where gambling revenues are concerned, part of the earnings gained by online operators while operating illegally, will then be paid to the government by way of licenses and regulatory fees in addition to taxes.
Thailand’s gambling history dates as far back as centuries ago when the country was still known as Siam and ruled by a monarch that supported the people’s love for gambling. Historically, gambling in the course of the nation’s history, was twice allowed and twice banned.
Gambling History in the Kingdom of Siam
The Kingdom of Siam under King Rama III of the Chakri dynasty, from 1824 to 1851 permitted the citizens to engage in gambling as a form of entertainment mainly for the purpose of increasing tax revenues. Siamese citizens placed wagers on different competitions like boat races, cockfights and bullfights, among more than a hundred popular games that involved betting.
Later in the late 19th century and as gambling dens proliferated throughout the kingdom, many Siams were driven to poverty and bankruptcy. As a result, then King Chulalongkorn a.k.a. Rama V, who was the ruler from 1868 to 1910 issued a decree that outlawed gambling in the country.
The Kingdom Undergoes Changes that Included the Promulgation of the Gambling Act of 1930
In 1932, a radical army officer named Luang Phibunsongkhram, called Phibun for short, led a bloodless military coup in collaboration with the revolutionary People’s Party. The aim was not to topple the Chakri monarchy but to institute reforms that would see to the institution of a Constitution, a State Council and National Assembly, in which the Chakri king rules under a more democratic form of government.
Although the Chakri monarchy survived, Phibun ruled as a dictator who wanted to introduce changes that would modernize the country. Part of the country’s modernization was the reintroduction of legalized gambling, which was enacted by way of the Gambling Act of 1930. Yet the most significant change was in 1939, when the country was renamed, and became officially known in other parts of the world as the Kingdom of Thailand.
The Gambling Act of 1930 assigned the Ministry of fFnance to oversee the legalization and operation of casinos and to make sure that only the wealthy people will engage in gambling. Yet the country’s gambling history repeated itself as there was a breakdown in the enforcement of the country’s gambling laws, which once again caused bankruptcy and poverty to many Thai citizens.
In 1935, the Gambling Act was revised to declare casinos and other forms of gambling activities illegal, except for horserace betting and lotteries. During the premiership of Khuang Aphaiwong, majority of the Thai people and with the help of media protested the government’s unabashed and unregulated promotion of gambling. While the government was able to raise revenues, crime and poverty levels went on a rise, making Thailand one of the poorest Asian countries during the period.
Nonetheless, the Kingdom of Thailand was able to lift itself from the morass of poverty by focusing on other industries and economic activities that provided jobs to millions of Thai citizens. Thailand today serves as a model country in Asia for achieving continuous growth in the past decades.
Gambling in Thailand Amidst Government Ban
Gambling activities in Thai persists, to which studies show that about 60% of the country’s population still engage in gambling activities, albeit illegally. Yet it cannot be said that economic growth was affected because most of those who do so, prefer to gamble in their choice of a web casino (เว็บคาสิโน); usually in one that also offers sports betting products and services.
Rather than play in illegal gambling dens being run by unscrupulous operators and where loan sharks lie in wait, many of Thailand’s gamblers today prefer to gamble online. by using the web-based platforms and mobile applications of reputable and licensed providers.