How to Gamble in
Thailand as
a UK Expat

strict laws


In Thailand, there are strict laws that govern gambling. There only two types of gambling that locals and expats can legally do in Thailand: the national lottery and betting on horse races at licensed racetracks. Every other form of gambling is prohibited in the country.


Is Online Gambling Also Prohibited?

Technically, Thai law

Technically, Thai law does not specifically mention online gambling as prohibited, however, law enforcement officials view online gambling as falling under conventional gambling. Thus, local police will still arrest anyone who takes part in online gambling whether they are an operator, a bookie, or a player.

However, this has not stopped locals, visitors, and expats from enjoying and taking part in online gambling. According to one survey, almost 60% of adult Thais participate in some form of online gambling, whether it’s sports betting, casino games, or live dealer games. In 2014 alone, close to ฿43 Thai Bhat (or around £1B GBP) was wagered during the World Cup!

What Are the Penalties If I Get Caught?

online gambling

Comparatively, getting caught and penalized for online gambling is rarer compared to traditional gambling, but it has been known to happen. If you are caught gambling in Thailand, you will be subjected to a fine of up to ฿1000 Thai Bhat and jail time of up to a year. For expats, however, the consequences can be direr as you face the risk of being deported back to your home country if you are prosecuted for gambling.

What Safety Precautions Should I Take?

gamble online in Thailand

If you still wish to gamble online in Thailand for your own leisure, you should take some precautions to ensure your safety and anonymity. In this case, it’s definitely better to be safe than sorry!

First, you should do all your online gambling activities in the safety of your own home. If you are gambling on your mobile phone while in public, make sure that you are in a quiet, discrete, and safe place. Do not draw attention to yourself, especially if you are already winning big!

Second, you should keep quiet about your online gambling activities. The local police will not randomly burst into your home or stop you on the street in the hopes of catching you gambling online, but you should still keep a low profile. Do not share stories about your winnings with friends or co-workers. The most probable way that you will get caught gambling is if someone points out your activities to local law enforcement.

win big money

Third, if you get lucky and win big money, do not make a spectacle of yourself! It’s fine to go out and treat your friends to a round of drinks to celebrate but be vague about where the money comes from. If someone asks, just smile politely and say that you are celebrating a promotion at work or some other innocuous occasion. Finally, you can consider using a VPN while playing on online casinos. VPNs will help conceal your IP address and give you anonymity online. This will help conceal your online gambling activities even if someone tries to hack into your Internet connection.