Sports Betting in Thailand
In Thailand the Civil and Commercial Code (section 853 and 855) specifies that gambling debts are non-enforceable. This means if you make a football bet with a friend or a bookie and he does not pay the winnings, there is no legal recourse. The law treats it just the same as if the bet never existed. With online betting the situation is often different.
In this article I will cover which online betting sites offer Thai residents legal recourse. I also touch on how to deposit and withdraw, as well as discussing betting in Cambodia, Laos and Burma. For the benefit of anyone new to sports betting, I also cover how betting odds work and what sports and markets can be bet online.
Asian Bookies for Thailand
Many countries with legal gambling also have online bookies that will take bets from people all over the world. In fellow ASEAN member country Philippines and in the UK territory of the Isle of Man, there is what’s referred to as Asian bookies. These are sports betting websites that support Asian odds format and Asian languages, as well as a selection of Asian currencies The majority of these support Thai language and Baht (THB). Some of the best known are listed below.
- How to Deposit
- Visit Site
- Bank Wire / eWallet
- Thai / English
- Bank Wire / eWallet
- Thai / English
- Bank Wire
- Thai / English
These websites all accept deposits to their local Thai bank accounts. The amount deposited is your starting account balance. Let’s say for example you deposit ฿5,000. If you bet ฿1,500 on a football match, your balance becomes ฿3,500. If your bet wins, the ฿1,500 is added back to your account balance and the winnings from that bet are added too. To get paid, at anytime you can withdraw some or all of your betting account balance to your Thai bank account.
Supported Banks: Most Asian bookies support Siam Commercial Bank (SCB) and only 138 supports Bangkok Bank. For Krungthai, Kasikorn, Thanachart, Bank of Ayudhya, and others you’ll need to join each site until finding one that supports the company you bank with. If your bank is not supported by any, at www.dafabet.com you can contact their support department to arrange a transfer to their bank account from any Thai bank.
Why Asian Bookies are Safe
Although the companies on this page service Thailand, they are based in foreign countries where they are fully legal and fully licensed by the government. When you bet at Dafabet your bets are actually placed in the Philippines. When you wager at 188Bet they are placed in the Isle of Man. If the site fails to pay you, makes a mistake, or there is any other dispute, you have recourse. You can complain to the regulator that issues their license, to their local police, or take the matter to court. Of course this is never needed as these sites are all legit.
Dafabet is owned by Asian Logic which is the largest operator of brick and mortar betting shops in the Philippines. 188Bet sponsors many major European football teams and is white listed by the UK government as a reputable gambling site. The bottom line is these are 100% safe and reliable websites that treat players fairly.
Betting in Cambodia, Laos and Burma
Another way to bet sports in a regulated environment is to visit Cambodia, Laos or Burma (Myanmar). Each of these countries has casinos set up right near the Thai border where baht is accepted or exchanged on site, and Thai is the operational language. Most of these casinos have a sportsbook where football betting is offered on matches from all over the world.
Casinos such as these can be found in all the towns on the Thai border with Laos, Cambodia and Burma
Sportsbooks in Laos and Cambodia also offer online betting. This is convenient as players can wager at home in Thailand, and then return to the casino to be paid their balance. Please however understand that these online betting sites do not offer the same protection as those from the Isle of Man and Philippines.
In Cambodia, law enforcement and courts are often accused of corruption and favoritism. In Laos, football betting is not even legal. The casinos offering it operate under special exemption. The legal framework to enforce a gambling debt, or settle disputes, simply does not exist in Laos.
In short, betting in person is mostly safe. My article on Thailand Casinos includes information about where these betting shops are located, and how to access them. Using their online versions is however not a good idea. For this stick to legit fully licensed sites such as www.dafabet.com.
Online Betting Options
Another major benefit to online betting is the wagering options. It is possible to bet football matches from all over the world. This includes major European leagues, competitions such as Euros and World Cup, and even Thai Premier League. The same is true for basketball. You can bet on NBA matches in the United States, PBA from Philippines, CBA from China, or even get action down on the Chang Thailand Slammers of the ASEAN Basketball League.
Volleyball, badminton, tennis, golf, darts, baseball, hockey, cricket and many other sports can be bet online too. If you are new to betting, the first thing to understand is how the odds work.
Thailand Odds Format
In Thailand there is no official odds format as we don’t have licensed sports books. The one most known here is fractional odds which are used for Muay Thai betting in Bangkok. When a fighter is 4-to-5 (4/5) it means they are a small favorite and for every 5 units you risk you can win 4. 4-to-5 in other formats is 1.80 decimal odds, -1.25 Indonesian odds, -125 American odds, 0.80 Hong Kong odds, and 0.80 Malay odds. There is no need to understand these translations.
What you do need to know is at least one common odds format. This is because the odds used for betting Muay Thai (fractional odds) are not used by all Asian bookies. The odds format most common at Asian betting sites is Hong Kong Odds. In this format the odds are how much you’ll be paid in winnings times your stake. So if the odds are 0.75: this means you risk 1 unit to win 0.75. If the odds are 3.00 this is a big underdog (3-for-1) and the odds are risk 1 to win 3. At the betting site you are using, select HK from the odds drop down menu to view the odds in this format.
Thai betting sites cover all the major football leagues worldwide including all of those pictured above
Understand there are far more ways to wager online besides just which team or player will win a match. For football betting you can bet whether the total goals scored will be over or under a certain amount, which player will score the first goal, which team will score the last goal, what the correct score will be, and can predict half time / full time outcomes, and so much more. These wagering options are called betting markets. It takes only a little experience to gain an understanding of all the wagering options. In this section I will explain just three ways to bet on football in Thailand.
- Home/Draw/Away – (also called 1X2) is a regulation time wager on which team will win or if the match will be a draw. There are three options and to win you need to have wagered the correct outcome. Example: If you bet on Liverpool to win and the match finishes a draw, your bet is a loser.
- Draw No Bet – (also called home/away) is a wagering option where the draw is not used. You bet on one team or the other. If at the end of regulation the match is tied your bet is refunded.
- Asian Handicap – (also called a point spread) is a more confusing option. Here a handicap is used. Let’s say for example Liverpool is +0.5. In this case at the end of the game, 0.5 points is added to their score to decide the betting winner. Therefore, if after 90 minutes the game ends a draw, those betting on Liverpool win. But if Liverpool was -0.5 and it was a tie they would lose. If they are +1 and lose by 1, the bet is a draw and you will have your stake returned. Where it gets confusing is one-quarter and three-quarter handicaps. If the handicap is 0.25 this means half the stake is bet at 0 (no spread and therefore same as draw no bet) and the other half is bet at 0.5. If it is 0.75 this means half is bet at 1 and the other half at 0.5. You can read more about Asian handicap betting here.
If you navigate other pages of our website you can learn more about specific betting markets by sport. With many matches, live betting is also possible. This is wagering on matches already in progress. Prematch, accumulator bets are offered. This is putting several matches on the same betting ticket. The payouts are very high for a small stake but to win you need to get them all correct.
Is Sports Betting Legal
The only forms of betting that are legal in Thailand are the Thai Lottery and Horse Racing in Bangkok. Almost every adult living here is however aware that much of our nation plays the other lottery also called the street lottery. We also have many underground casinos, but these are not out in the open, but Muay Thai betting certainly is. Here spectators are separated by floors as to how much they plan to bet. There are hand signals and bookies strapped with devices to record the odds. Millions of baht changes hands right out in the open.
There is however a law against gambling. Thailand Gambling Act B.E. 2478 (1935) makes unlawful betting punishable by a 1,000 baht fine and up to 1 year in prison. Again though, when so much of the population including policemen, businessmen, teachers, vendors, foreigners, laborers and farmers are gambling, it is very difficult to actually enforce the law.
The biggest concern Thais gamblers face is what was mentioned in the intro to this article. Under the Thailand Civil and Commercial Code gambling debts are not enforceable. Most bettors worry far more about whether their bookie will pay them on a winm than they do about trouble with the police. Online betting provides a solution. The bets do not actually take place in Thailand. When using Asian Bookies from Philippines and Isle of Man, gambling debts then become legally enforceable.