Author: Ed Hudson

A Deeper Look into the Gambling Behavior and Preferences of Thai Punters

While there are reports that Thailand may legalize casino gambling, lawmakers need to dig deeper into the gambling behavior and preferences of Thai gamblers. The intensified crackdowns on illegal gambling dens seem to have little effect, as a greater portion of the country’s avid punters prefer to engage in online gambling. Especially now that local punters have realized that many illicit operators of underground casinos and sportsbooks take advantage of the fact that there are no laws protecting gamblers from unfair gambling practices.

Thailand;s Civil and Commercial Code, specifies under section 853 and 855 that any form of gambling debt is not enforceable. This is regardless of whether the debt is a result of a gambling activity involving friends, associates or people who present themselves as casino operators or bookmakers. Yet this is also why many local punters now prefer to gamble at a carefully selected สมัคร คาสิโนออนไลน์ (online cassino) or virtual sports book run by a licensed remote gaming operator.

At the very least, these online gambling operators comply with regulations governing the offering of fair, equitable and responsible gaming products and services. Licensing approval requires payment of hefty fees and passing of testing and audits to attest to the fairness of their games and betting platforms. Failing to meet standards or being found in violation of money laundering and anti-terrorist laws will result to possible license revocation.

The point is, of the 57% found by Thailand’s Center for Gambling Studies, as the portion of Thai population engaged in gambling, local punters rarely gamble illegally in some of the country’s land-based casinos. Nowadays, only a few venture into back alley casino dens for fear of getting caught up in intensified police raids that give illicit operators, more reason not to pay whatever winnings gained by gamblers from the gambling joint.

Why Thai Punters Continue to Gamble Online Despite Government Orders to Block Gambling Websites

The country’s Ministry of Information and Communication Technology gave orders for local Internet Service providers (ISPs) to monitor and block internet traffic accessing remotely operated online gambling websites. Yet current advancements in technology have made detecting and analyzing any gambling activities linked to Thailand IP addresses, difficult to accomplish.

The advent of smartphones and mobile applications along with the development of Virtual Private Networks (VPNs) have affected the ability of governments to monitor and control gambling transactions transpiring across the web; especially when data communicated are encrypted from end to end.

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That is why offshore-based legal online casinos and sportsbooks accept gamblers from Thailand, as their operations are supported by VPN servers and messaging applications that work beyond the reach of Thailand’s Communication Ministry.

Advancements in digital technology have also made it possible for local Thai gamblers to place deposits and withdraw winnings in Thai baht. Several domestic financial institutions including local Thai banks are into facilitating such transfers, for as long as the amounts requested are within the bounds allowed by anti-money laundering and anti-terrorim laws

Lastly, the confidence to play at online casinos and to place bets in virtual sports books is boosted by the fact that web content, as well as customer services, are now accessible in Thai language. This particular feature has made local Thai punters who are not so well-versed in the English language, feel more at home and at ease playing within the privacy and comfort of their home or anywhere they deem it safe

While it seems that we are suggesting for Thai lawmakers to consider the adage, “if you can’t beat them, join them” as the best way to have control and oversight over the system, the suggestion is not  far fetched at all. Other neighboring Southeast Asian countries like Cambodia, the Philippines and Vietnam have already taken such steps and have so far achieved better results.

Will Legalizing Casinos in Thailand Make a Difference?

While Thailand remains as one of few Asian nations that outlaw casinos, serious discussions regarding the legalization of casinos are currently on discussion tables. In January 2021, Thai Prime Minister Prayut Chan-o-cha confirmed that he is open to the idea of holding public discussions that would weigh the advantages and disadvantages of legalizing the establishments of casinos, if doing so will curtail the growth of illegal gambling in the country. Apparently, the Prime Minister is concerned about reports that illegal gambling dens in the country are actually profitable sources of extra revenues for local politicians and police officials.

 

In line with PM Prayut’s affirmation, he also approved the organization of a 10-member committee that will look into the illegal gambling investigations being conducted by state officials particularly in Nonthaburi of the Greater Bangkok district. While the illegal casinos are being raided and shutdown, they eventually resume operations after the related fines and penalties have been settled.

Thailand’s Short-Lived Period of Legalized Casino Gambling

Actually, there was a time during the 1930’s when casino gambling was legal but only for wealthy citizens. However, the country’s bout with legal casino gambling was short-lived as the Gambling Act was revised in 1935. The revision outlawed casino gambling and declared that only lotteries and horse race betting were to remain as the only forms of legal gambling.

The long and short of it was that there was lack of control and regulation over casinos operators that gambling led to the deterioration of the quality of life in many Thai communities. Many Thai citizens fell into gambling debts that caused them to lose not only money and property but also their dignity, as some were forced to submit themselves and members of their family into slavery.

According to a spokesperson for the Centre for COVID-19 Situation Administration (CCSA), of which PM Prayut is the Chairman, the main question that the Prime Minister wants answered is if the majority of the Thai people will consider legalized casino gambling as morally acceptable.

Recent Surveys Revealed that the Majority of Thai’s Population Engage in Gambling Activities

The latest survey conducted by the Centre for Gambling Studies and Centre for Social and Business Development showed nearly 60% of Thailand’s citizens have engaged in some form of gambling at least once during the past years.

The study, which was conducted in coordination with the
Economics and Research Centre for Social and Business Development of Chulalongkorn University estimated that 30 million people in Thailand are zealous gamblers, but mostly wagering on government-backed lotteries. About 1.6% of those who responded to the survey indicated preference for online gambling, particularly sports betting and online casino gaming; of which บาคาร่า (baccarat) is a huge favorite to about 45% of those who indicated preference for casino games. Only a fifth of survey respondents admitted to gambling with slots in online casinos.

Where Do Most Thai Citizens Gamble?

It’s a known fact that casinos located in the border towns of Laos and Cambodia, rely heavily on Thai customers. Yet even if legal casinos are established in the country, Thai citizens have discovered the convenience of taking their gambling activities online.

After all, Thai gamblers discriminate in their choice of online gambling websites by playing only in sites regulated by jurisdictions that issued them the license to operate online sportsbooks and online casinos.

Moreover the igaming industry fosters the development of technological advancements that would ensure the integrity of online gambling games and betting services.

Many of today’s online casinos and sports betting sites use Virtual Private Networks (VPN) as protection against hackers and as shield from the prying eyes of Internet Service Providers. The VPN technology encrypts all communication between customers and operators. At the UFABet website, customers simply สมัครบาคาร่า (apply for baccarat game) or สมัครเว็บบอล (apply for football betting line/s)

A Close Look at Indonesian Bandarq Online Casino Games

Non Muslim Indonesian gamblers appreciate the fact that offshore gambling sites provide them with online versions of card games popularized by their culture. A good example to cite is the Bandarq game that locals can access via judi online casinos.

 

Many regard Bandarq as a unique game because the playing cards used come in designs and numbers patterned after traditional domino tiles. Yet a closer look at the game mechanics reveal that the game is largely similar to a western casino card game known as “Lucky 9.” The Bandarq cards display suits numbering from none to six, of which two cards are dealt to each player.

Although a pair of sixes achieves a total of 12, the pair will have an equivalent value of only 2 and can have a chance of winning only if the dealer’s total value is 10 or zero. Just like in Lucky 9 games, only the last digit is recognized, because value totals cannot exceed 9, which is the highest winning number.

Fundamentals of Bandarq Games

The sum of all suits appearing on the 2-card hand will be the basis in determining a winning result, to which the highest winning number is nine (9). Just like in Lucky 9, a dealer plays against other players, whose Bandarq total must be higher than that of the dealer’s in order to win. The dealer assesses every Bandarq hand and pays off winning players with an amount that is equivalent to the wager staked by a winning player before receiving their value cards.

It follows that players who reveal total numbers that are less than that of the Bandarq dealer’s, they have to surrender their wagers to the dealer. Apparently, assuming the dealer position when playing Bandarq requires a substantial amount of bankroll since there will be instances in which multiple players win. On the other hand, a dealer also has great chances of recovering quickly from his losses, if multiple and sometimes all players lose their bets.

Bandarq Rules that Make this Indonesian Card Game Different from Lucky 9

While Indonesia’s Bandarq games share similar fundamentals with the western Lucky 9 game, there’s a different set of rules followed for Bandarq games.

Only 28 Bandarq cards are available for distribution to players. This denotes that in a game where 8 players are participating, 12 cards will not be revealed. Keeping some cards hidden makes card counting ineffective during each round. .

Unlike in Lucky 9 where players can still ask the dealer for additional cards to improve their 2-card totals, a Bandarq game is played with only 2 cards Wagers are resolved quickly as card values will be compared as soon as all players including the dealer have established the total value of their cards.

In instances where there is a draw or tie between the card values of the dealer and a player, the dealer still wins, Regardless of whether both values are tied with a high nine (9) total.

In traditional Bandarq games, all players may agree to follow a system in which all will have a chance to play as dealer. Depending on what players agree upon, the dealer position transfers clockwise to the next player continuously on every round or at some agreed point. In judi bola websites, the system depends on the software design of the game.

Now the greater advantage of playing judi online Bandarq games is that remote gaming operators compete with each other by offering promotional cashback bonus. That way, players can recover a specific portion of losses incurred in certain online casino games.