World Cup 2014 Online Betting Surging inThailand

Published Wednesday, June 04, 2014 -
World Cup 2014 Online Betting Surging inThailand

Punters the world over are gearing up for the 2014 FIFA World Cup competition about to commence in Brazil. Even in places where online gambling is illegal those who love to gamble are doing their best to find reputable bookies that they feel confident won’t run off with their winnings. Such is the case in Thailand where it is reported that 80% of football gambling there currently involves betting through agents. There are academics who predict this will soon change and betting will be almost entirely online.

The 1935 Gambling Act in Thailand prohibits all types of gambling except the government lottery and domestic horse racing. These are the only two forms of legal gambling in Thailand . A search for "football betting" online in Thai produces about 785,000 results, with the Isle of Man-based company Sbobet proving to be the top online bookmaker. At one popular website that shows the odds for football matches worldwide, there are 20 banner ads promoting various betting sites, providing a gateway for newcomers to easily get into online gambling. The police, who are the major players in the prevention and suppression of gambling, are also reluctant to enforce the law as some receive bribes and are financially involved in betting websites.
The number of gambling websites still accessible far outweighs those that are blocked, and tech-savvy users are able to circumvent such blocks with comparative ease.

Before it was easier to locate those accessing online gambling sites but now, 95% of mobile phone usage is prepaid, and it does not require registration with internet service providers, making it extremely difficult for the police to track down people involved in illegal online betting. Thailand does not have a specific organisation responsible for dealing with problems related to gambling. However, the Mental Health Department’s hotline has been flooded with calls from concerned parents with their young ones showing issues with gambling.  As in many jurisdictions monitoring the activity is all that authorities are capable of.


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