Thailand’s finance ministry is reported to be ‘fine-tuning’ the details of a bill to establish regulation for an online lottery.
[dropcap]A[/dropcap] report by state media outlet Thai PBS suggests that the new bill will allow the Government Lottery Office to introduce new products beyond the traditional paper lottery tickets. Among these products will be online lottery tickets, available for sale via vending machines or through convenience stores.
Citing a source close to the draft legislation, the Thai broadcaster stated that the bill will be submitted to the cabinet ‘for consideration’ in September.
The wording of the bill suggests that 23 percent of online lottery-related revenue will be sent to the state coffers while the remaining 60 percent will be allocated for prizes with the remaining funds to be used as management fees for the lottery office.
The bill will restrict the sale of lottery tickets to those under the age of 20 and ban the sale of tickets in schools.
Vendors will be required to apply for a licence, and those caught overpricing their tickets could face one month’s prison sentence or a fine of THB10,000 (E257), while unlicensed sellers will face the same fine and up to three months.
Legal gambling in Thailand is limited to the National Lottery and betting on horse races at the tracks in Bangkok – all other forms of gambling are strictly prohibited under the Gambling Act of B.E. 2478, 1935.
While online gambling is not specifically addressed in the 71-year-old legislation, the consensus among legal experts is that iGaming products fall within the list of services prohibited by the Act. The Thai government has an internet censoring system in place blocking access to several offshore gambling websites.