Gaming Legal Services Practice Group
Thailand broadly and strictly criminalizes gambling; only government sponsored lotteries and betting on horse races are permitted. These strict and broad prohibitions on gambling create serious problems. Thailand has a major and very dangerous underground gambling industry. That dangerous underground gambling industry fuels corruption and has a corrosive effect on the legitimacy of Thai institutions. And Thailand’s criminalization of gambling certainly has not eradicated gambling.
Does strictly criminalizing gambling prevent or even ameliorate the problems created by gambling? Doubtful. And there can be no doubt that illegal gambling remains pervasive despite its criminalization. Some argue that Thailand’s criminalization of gambling creates more problems than it solves.
Although a sensitive subject, policy makers are starting to discuss the problems created by Thailand’s prohibitions on gambling more openly. They are also discussing the possibility of permitting gambling in certain areas on a regulated basis.
Drawing on experience from other jurisdictions where regulated gambling is permitted, Analytics has formed a Gaming Legal Services Practice Group consisting of regulators from jurisdictions where gaming is permitted, lawyers, private investigators with experience in the gaming industry and other professionals. We will be posting articles on debates about reform of Thai laws criminalizing gambling, the interplay between Thai laws criminalizing gambling and laws such as the U.S. Foreign Corrupt Practices Act and anti-money laundering laws and proposals to reform Thai law in this and other relevant areas. We will also offer private advisory services and legislative updates to our clients in these areas.
- Will Gambling be Decriminalized in Thailand?In 1935, the Thai Royal Command enacted the Gambling Act (the “Gambling Act”). The Gambling Act prohibits any organization or participation in any form of betting excluding state-licensed lotteries and horse races. Although other Southeast Asian nations, including Laos, Malaysia, Cambodia, and Singapore, have legalized gambling, Thailand continues to criminalize gambling. Thailand’s strict prohibition on ...Read more