Gambling in Thailand: New Horizons of Popularity in 2020

Gambling in Thailand: New Horizons of Popularity in 2020

1. The Basic Data

2. Results of the Major Studies

  2.1. The Gambling Market in Thailand

  2.2. What do the Numbers Show?

3. Reasons for the Popularity of Gambling

  3.1. The Developments of the Asian Markets

  3.2. The Growing Interest of the Population

  3.3. Growth of the Internet Traffic

4. What to Expect in the Foreseeable Future?

5. Conclusion

After the reports of several analytical centres, the interest in the gambling industry in Thailand was heightened. In these reports, experts describe in detail the current market situation and make brief projections.

In this article, you will be able to find out how popular is the gambling sector in Thailand and what potential investors should be prepared for.

Gambling industry in Thailand

The Basic Data

Thailand is a country that professes Buddhist teachings, so gambling is treated with caution. So far, only lotteries and bets on horse racing are allowed at the country level. All other games, including poker, roulette, and slots, are strictly prohibited.

On the other hand, an illegal market exists, and it is growing rapidly. The authorities, although they are trying to stop these processes, cannot cope with a large flow of illegal gambling establishments, both land-based and virtual.

Results of the Major Studies

The Thai Department of Gambling Studies, together with the Centre for Business Development, has conducted a major study of the relevance of gambling among locals. The results are shown below in the tabular form.

The Gambling Market in Thailand





The number of gamblers, in millions


Revenues, in billion dollars

The number of gamblers, in millions

Revenues, in billion dollars

The legal market volume, including:






  • The state lottery





  • Bets on horse racing





The number of illegal operations, including:





  • Lotteries





  • Card games and casino





The published report also states that, for the first time, Thais get acquainted with gambling at the age of 20 years and, as a rule, they do it by purchasing tickets of the state lottery.

In the table, there is no separation in the land-based segment and online business since the virtual segment takes only 1.6% of the total number of active users. This situation is paradoxical, taking into account the rapid growth of online gambling in Asia.

Experts believe that already in 2020, the volume of the Internet business will grow.

What do the Numbers Show?

Analyzing the received data, we can see that more than half of the population is interested in gambling. Analysts predict that in 2020, this figure will only increase.

Owners of the gambling business are planning to make a decent profit on gambling:

  • In 2019, this indicator reached 10.3 billion dollars.
  • According to forecasts, in 2020, revenues of the industry will grow by 21.3% and reach 13.1 billion dollars.

It is difficult to appraise the situation on the gambling market in Thailand without taking into account the illegal market, the volume of which is also growing rapidly.

Thais are huge fans of various lotteries and often choose this type of entertainment. Experts believe that by 2020, 14.7 million residents will take part in lottery draws, and it will generate profits of 6.6 billion dollars.

The profit from casinos is going to reach 4.3 billion dollars or 39.4% of all revenues of the illegal segment.

Reasons for the Popularity of Gambling

The study clearly illustrates the demand for gambling among the local population. Experts name several reasons for that.

Gambling business in Asia

The Developments of the Asian Markets

The region has a heightened interest in the gambling segment. Casinos in Asia can be a vivid example.

The leading countries, including China and Japan, have already announced the opening of integrated casino resorts, thus planning to attract big investors. In this situation, the Thai market simply cannot go unnoticed.

The Growing Interest of the Population

As you know, for a long time, gambling in the country was banned and even today, it is in a semi-legal state. But any restrictions only arouse interest in the final product.

According to the studies, 210 thousand people have signs of gambling addiction, which is only a small part of the country’s population.

Growth of the Internet Traffic

Progress is gradually reaching the southwestern territories of Asia, so there is a steady growth of online traffic. This, in turn, affects the active players on the Web, the flow of which is growing every day.

What to Expect in the Foreseeable Future?

The main innovations will be associated with the relaxation of control of the government. The leading economies of the region have already done that, and it was quite successful.

Formation of an open and transparent market always brings big dividends to the country:

  1. Significant treasury revenues. These are tax deductions, tourist fees, income from the issued licenses and permits, etc.
  2. The growing popularity in the eyes of investors. Businessmen are ready to invest money not only in a specific industry but also in a number of the related infrastructure projects.


The gambling market in Thailand may eventually become a promising area for investment. It can be confirmed by the published studies and a positive attitude among both locals and tourists.

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