Thai Sports Bettors Rejoice as National Football Team Advances to AFF Under-23 Championship

Thailand’s national football team has advanced to the finals of the AFF Under-23 Championship after vanquishing Laos today (Feb. 24, 2022) with a 2-0 score. The match was already lopsided from the very start as Laos players were slipping up with individual errors. The errors allowed Thai players to have possession of the ball most of the time. It didn’t take long for Thai gamblers to know they won from the พนัน (bet) they placed on the football matchup that took place today in Cambodia’s Morodok Techo National Stadium

Thailand will have a rematch with Vietnam for the Asian Cup in Uzbekistan on June 02. The game last Feb. 16 between the two teams, ended with a 1-0 score in favor of Vietnam. A win will be a great confidence booster for the Thai national team. They still need to move forward with another win against Malaysia on June 05, also in Uzbekistan, to possibly face off with South Korea on the final Asian Cup championship day on June 08, 2022.

Sports Betting Still on in Thailand Despite Crackdowns

Although gambling is illegal in Thailand, many major offshore and local online betting sites accept and process wagers in Thai baht. Even if the government of Thailand has ordered Internet service providers (ISPs) to block all communications accessing online gambling sites, a more advanced messaging system called Virtual Private Network (VPN) is now in use. VPN servers send encrypted missives to prevent ISPs and law enforcers from tracking and monitoring messages sent via the public Internet.

That is why in Thailand, betting activities are considered much safer if made online, as local police authorities are more focused on keeping gamblers away from back-alley casinos and underground bookies.

Actually, gambling is still one of the most lucrative businesses in Thailand, as results of surveys show that about 60% of the country’s population is involved some form of gambling; be it legal like lottery and horse racing ot illegal like sports betting, poker games or online casino gaming.

Earlier Plans of Legalizing Casino Gambling, Currently Making Progress

In early January of last year, Prime Minister Prayut Chan-o-cha announced that he has reconsidered his stance against gambling, and that he is now open to proposals of legalizing of casino gambling. The PM’s change of heart came after health authorities reported that the spread of COVID-19 in illegal gambling dens made it difficult for health authorities to trace infection cases.

In September 2021, Thailand’s House of Representatives had put up for voting a resolution that proposed the creation of a 60-seat extraordinary committee (ExCom) that will look into the pros and cons of allowing the opening of casinos in Thailand. The proposal has been put forward as a means of generating additional government income, as the country’s tourism industry will take longer to recover. The support for the proposal was overwhelming as 310 Ministers of Parliament voted in favor. Only nine MPs voted against while 10 abstained themselves from voting for or against.