Thai authorities close 2,819 online gambling sites in the last year

Casino gambling remains illegal in Thailand.
Casino gambling remains illegal in Thailand.

The websites were shut down for suspected internet gambling between September 2021 and August 2022.

Thailand.- Chaiwut Thanakamanusorn, Thailand’s minister of digital economy and society, has reported that 2,819 websites have been closed over the past year in a campaign against online gambling. The ministry collects evidence on online gambling and submits it to the court to have the sites taken down.

Chaiwut noted that the number of sites taken down had more than doubled over the previous year, with 1,259 sites taken down between September 2020 and August 2021.

In July, the Thai committee tasked with studying the possibility of allowing integrated resorts with casinos submitted its final report to the National Assembly and recommended that the government should issue a decree allowing such developments in key cities.

The committee said that legalising casinos could allow Thailand to make billions from foreign investors, visitors and Thai gamblers who would otherwise spend their money in neighbouring countries. This latter point is one of the most surprising: the legislators are proposing that Thais would be allowed to play in casinos, as opposed to the regimes in Vietnam and South Korea that severely restrict locals’ access.

The proposal stipulates that Thai nationals over the age of 20 with a bank account containing at least 500,000 baht should be allowed to gamble. The recommendations are based on Thailand’s Gambling Act of 1935, which prohibits most types of wagering but includes a provision that gives the government the power to issue decrees or licenses for certain gambling activities.

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