What is the Thai Lotto?

The thai lotto is a popular gambling game in Thailand that pays out hefty sums to lucky winners. It is organized and managed by the Government Lottery Office (GLO) of the Thai government. The GLO prints and sells lottery tickets to wholesalers, who in turn sell them at retail venues. It also collects a 0.5% stamp duty on government lottery winnings and 1% on charitable lottery winnings. Its jackpot prize can reach a staggering bht20 million or more. The game is played by both locals and foreigners.

Although Thailand officially prohibits gambling, it is a common pastime for its citizens. In fact, it is estimated that 70% of the country’s population gambles regularly. This aching need to gamble has given rise to a network of illegal operators and dealers who run parallel lotteries that can be 5 times larger than the official lottery. This large pool of players and lack of legal channels have become a lucrative business for many locals and tourists alike.

In addition to selling the official thai lottery, some retailers and vendors also offer betting on soccer matches. While soccer gambling is technically illegal, it is a widespread practice and generates huge amounts of cash. The gambling industry is a significant source of revenue for the government. Moreover, the popularity of the thai lotto has made it one of the most profitable games in the country.

During the reign of former Prime Minister Thaksin, two- and three-digit lotteries were introduced and he even proposed allowing Las Vegas-style casino gambling in the poorer provinces. However, these plans were eventually scuttled by the military regime that ousted him in 2006.

The tickets for the thai lotto are printed on special paper with anti-counterfeiting features. They have a two-tone watermark of a mythical bird called Wayupak and are coated with chemicals that can be tested by dropping drops of bleach on them. They can only be purchased in ticket pairs and are sold at a minimum of 80 baht per ticket pair.

All winners of the thai lotto have to present their tickets and a Thai ID card or passport (for foreigners). They must also write the necessary details on the back of their ticket. After presenting these documents, they will receive their prize money in the form of a cheque. Winners have up to two years to claim their prizes. The thai lottery also used to have first-prize bonus prizes, but these have been discontinued since 2015.

Until recently, lottery ticket prices were subject to mark-ups by brokers and retail venues. In order to curb this, the thai government made reforms and started to directly sell tickets from its offices in 2015. The GLO sets a maximum price on the tickets that are sold at retail venues. However, some street vendors and wholesalers still add a percentage to the ticket prices in order to boost their income. This has led to a reduction in the number of people who can afford to play the thai lottery.