Thailand is returning to its only legal form of gambling after the Thai government lifted its ban on cockfighting and other animal fights, allowing betting on the bloodsports under strict conditions.
Thailand’s Ministry of Interior on Friday also permitted horse racing, Siamese fighting fish match ups, bullfighting, and cow racing to resume for the first time since the pandemic. The country will market the sports “as a form of Thailand’s ‘soft power’” in order to attract tourists.
fights “must be conducted with the welfare of the animals in mind”
According to the Thaiger, betting is subject to strict conditions, with venues required to follow ministry rules. Cockfighting and Siamese fighting fish tournaments are weekends only, while fights “must be conducted with the welfare of the animals in mind.”
Justice Minister Somsak Thepsuthin stated betting on the sports should be systematic via an online platform that also collects tax.
Cockfighting, although illegal in many countries, is big business in Thailand, with champion birds selling for hundreds of thousands of baht. Although betting on animal sports is legal, other forms of betting are illegal in Thailand. It is the only non-Muslim ASEAN nation without legal casinos and its 70 million-strong population includes an adult population in which over half gamble via illegal means.