May 22, 2024 3 min read

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Euro 2024 Sparks Fears of Gambling Addiction Rise in Thailand

The Thai Health Promotion Foundation will launch campaigns that raise awareness of the dangers of betting during the popular tournament

Major sports competitions usually raise concerns about a rise in gambling addiction. Such sports events may push inexperienced individuals into sports betting, while in some cases, may have problem gamblers return to the activity. Whatever the case may be, responsible gambling advocates have continuously urged sports not to be associated with betting, encouraging fans to enjoy the activity without wagers.

Ahead of the upcoming Euro 2024, concerns continue to mount about the impact of the tournament on soccer fans in Thailand who may get addicted to betting. The concerns don’t come as a surprise, considering a 2021 survey by the Chulalongkorn University which uncovered that soccer was the fourth most popular gambling form among Thailand residents.

Kongkan Takhiranyit, the Thai Health Promotion Foundation’s director’s assistant, who was recently quoted by the Nation, spoke about the significant risk the tournament brings for gamblers in particular. She explained that in 2021, approximately 3.8 million Thais placed wagers on soccer. The result marked a staggering increase of 300,000 when compared to the figure reported in 2019, Takhiranyit said.

Besides the increase in the number of people who placed wagers on soccer, the executive warned that billions of baht have been lost to such wagers. Per the survey, Takhiranyit said that an estimated 181.68 billion ($5 billion) has been lost to soccer sports betting in Thailand.

The Foundation Will Help Raise Awareness about the Dangers of Gambling

What’s even more concerning is that she expects an uptick in addiction, as well as increased risk from underage individuals gambling online throughout Euro 2024. To help cushion the impact, Takhiranyit said that the Foundation is currently cooperating with different agencies that will help promote soccer without wagering.

Moreover, the executive confirmed that the foundation will hold campaigns in Trang, Chonburi,  Chiang Mai, Suphanburi and Si Sa Ket that will help raise awareness of the dangers associated with gambling during Euro 2024.

The foundation is collaborating with relevant agencies to encourage fans to enjoy football tournaments without betting on them.

Kongkan Takhiranyit, director’s assistant at the Thai Health Promotion Foundation

It is not only in Thailand where a correlation is identified between popular sports events and excessive gambling. The popularity of gambling sponsorships in soccer and other sports undoubtedly played a key role in this process.

Still, betting operators across the globe have a duty of care toward their customers, something that is usually a part of the gambling regulatory framework in the jurisdiction where they operate.

Constantly monitoring bettor’s activity and identifying excessive gambling and preventing harm are a part of the requirements for the operators. Yet, while this is the case for the regulated sector, on the black market, customers are at risk considering that no such protections exist.

Journalist

Jerome is a welcome new addition to the Gambling News team, bringing years of journalistic experience within the iGaming sector. His interest in the industry begun after he graduated from college where he played in regular local poker tournaments which eventually lead to exposure towards the growing popularity of online poker and casino rooms. Jerome now puts all the knowledge he's accrued to fuel his passion for journalism, providing our team with the latest scoops online.

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