The Thai Lotto and Other Forms of Gambling in Thailand

thai lotto

The thai lotto is the official state lottery and the source of government revenue. It is run by the Government Lottery Office (GLO) and there are strict legal frameworks that determine how the lottery operates, what percentage of ticket sales goes to the prize fund and how the remainder is used for national causes. It also sets the minimum prize amount at 100,000 baht. Unlike other gambling activities, the lottery is completely legal in Thailand.

Lottery tickets are printed on yellow paper and contain six digits with a watermark of Wayupak, the mythical bird of Thailand. There is a second watermark that is only visible with ultraviolet light. In addition, there are chemical stains on the tickets to discourage counterfeiting. GLO sells the tickets to wholesalers and brokers who then distribute them to a number of retail venues. Each venue adds a fee to the ticket price in order to generate some income.

The first prize is usually several million baht. The winner can claim their prize at the GLO offices in Bangkok by showing a valid ID document and their bank account details. If they are unable to collect the prize in person, they can apply for it to be wired to their bank account. The GLO website provides a list of all the winners of the lottery as well as the winning numbers.

Aside from the official thai lotto, there are many other forms of gambling in Thailand. Some are illegal, but most are not. Those who are not able to afford the expensive tickets often turn to huay tai din, or underground lottery houses. These smoky places are filled with a mix of Thai and Chinese games, including mahjong, football pools, number games, and cockfights. They are popular with locals and tourists alike. It is estimated that sex and gambling accounts for 10 percent of the country’s GNP.

Another popular form of gambling is betting on soccer matches. The turnover of these bets is enormous. One bookie in Bangkok claims he receives around $12 million a week from bettors. Former prime minister Thaksin sought to expand the gambling industry when he was in power, but his plans were halted after a 2006 coup.

Some Thais are also very superstitious about picking their lottery numbers. They may visit a temple or shrine to pray for luck or seek advice from fortune tellers. Many have even consulted Mae Nak, the ghost of a young woman who died in childbirth. She has become something of a national icon and her shrine can be found on Sukhumvit Soi 77. People come to ask her for guidance in a difficult situation or for help in passing an exam but also for the lucky numbers in the thai lotto. There are plenty of other strategies that are claimed to be successful, including interpreting dreams, praying to banana trees, interpreting candle drippings in holy water, asking children to pick numbers and fortune telling with bamboo sticks.