The popularity of sport betting in Thailand

For many years now, betting websites such as M88 have been awash with people trying to find high-end access to sports betting in Thailand and across Asia in general. In the last couple of decades, there has been a wholesale shift in the opinion amongst Thai residents about the popularity and the effectiveness of sports betting; once seen as a mild taboo, today the activity itself is far more common than it used to be.

Putting that aside for just one moment, though, the real difference in the popularity of sports betting in Thailand comes as part of an overall Asian growth. The popularity has grown across the entire continent, and Thailand is experiencing this themselves. Many popular markets exist across Thailand for getting into the world of sports betting, given that Western rulings on many sporting websites are far more comfortable than the somewhat draconian laws of Thailand itself.

However, both foreign and domestic sports betting is frowned upon heavily by the Thai government and as such any domestic sports betting debts are not seen as enforceable in any way. For this reason, many websites are beginning to turn to high-end western markets to get their fix instead. Given that online gambling is still illegal in the country, though, many people are unsure of what position to take with regards to their own stance on the world of online gambling.

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That being said, the majority of sports betting in Thailand takes place online because it’s much easier to do so without being “caught” by the authorities. Also, sports betting and online betting are typically seen to carry less severe penalties if caught and for that reason many Thai residents will choose to do the majority of their gambling on the internet, instead.

The most popular of the markets at present, though, is most certainly sports betting. Given that the state lottery is the only legal form of betting, sports betting takes on arguably the second most “innocent” of gambling forms and for that reason many stick to this form instead of the likes of poker or anything more risky.

Football betting was a market that rose to prominence since the turn of the century, with the 2008 UEFA Champions League Final between Manchester United and Chelsea London FC bringing more than 1,000 arrests in the country itself. However, over time, these have begun to become less serious given that around 70% of the Thai adult populace admit to taking part in betting of some capacity whether it is online or elsewhere.

There is one thing for sure – sports betting in Thailand has exploded and it shows no signs of going anywhere anytime soon!

About the author  ⁄ Marcy Geist

Marcy Geist

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