57% of Thais gamble – new report

The Thai Health Promotion Foundation has hosted a meeting today to discuss the gambling situation in Thailand in 2019, as a report indicating that a whopping 30.42 million Thais, or 57% of the population, gamble. The meeting was also represented by the Centre for Gambling Studies, Stop Gambling Foundation and related associations.

The director-general of the Centre for Gambling Studies, Faculty of Economics at Chulalongkorn University, Dr Nualnoi Trirat, shared the report by the Research Centre for Social and Business Development based on data collected from a survey of 44,050 people aged over 15 across 77 provinces.

According to The Nation, the report indicates the figure of 30.42 million this year is an increase of 1.49 million from 2017 and includes 700,000 new gamblers. The majority of gamblers are of working age, according to the report.

Thai Health CEO Supreda Adulyanon said the World Health Organisation has classified gambling addiction as a psychiatric illness, which is in a group of disorders related to mental health, behaviour and neurological development. Many who are unable to stop the addiction tend to have lifelong problems, including mental and physical health complications, family debt, violence, or crime.

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However, youth aged 15-18, or 733,000 young gamblers, are causing the most concern. This group is 20.9% of the youth population. Meanwhile, 3.05 million, or 46.3% of young adults aged 19-25, are also known to bet. The senior group, aged 60 and above, are also a cause for worry as around 3.35 million, or 42.2% of the senior population, love to gamble.

Government lottery, illegal lottery, betting on cards, football gambling, and the Higher or Lower card game are the top five gambling addictions. Football gambling makes the most money – 160.5 billion baht – followed by illegal lottery – 153.1 billion baht– and then the government lottery – 150.4 billion baht.

SOURCE: The Nation

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