Date: 23.05.2024

by Kajetan Sawicz

Navigating the Risks: Euro 2024 and the Rise of Gambling Addiction in Thailand

With Euro 2024 on the horizon, concerns about gambling addiction are mounting as the excitement of the tournament attracts both seasoned bettors and novices to the world of sports betting.

Thailand’s Growing Concern Over Soccer Betting

In Thailand, the anticipation for Euro 2024 brings with it heightened concerns about soccer betting addiction. According to a 2021 survey conducted by Chulalongkorn University, soccer ranks as the fourth most popular form of gambling in the country.

Kongkan Takhiranyit, assistant director at the Thai Health Promotion Foundation, sheds light on the alarming trend: “In 2021, around 3.8 million Thais bet on soccer, an increase of 300,000 from 2019,” Takhiranyit reported. This surge highlights the growing engagement with gambling in Thailand, which saw approximately $5 billion lost to soccer wagers.

Educational Campaigns to Curb Gambling

To combat the rise in gambling, the Thai Health Promotion Foundation has initiated several awareness campaigns aimed at encouraging fans to enjoy soccer without the financial risks associated with betting. These campaigns are set to run in various regions, including Trang, Chonburi, Chiang Mai, Suphanburi, and Si Sa Ket, during Euro 2024.

Takhiranyit emphasized the foundation’s strategy: “The foundation is collaborating with relevant agencies to encourage fans to enjoy football tournaments without betting on them.”

Global Perspective on Gambling and Sports

The issue of gambling addiction linked to sports is not unique to Thailand. Around the world, sports events are increasingly associated with gambling, partly due to the pervasive presence of gambling sponsorships. These sponsorships, while lucrative, raise ethical questions about the role of betting companies in sports.

Regulatory frameworks in various jurisdictions mandate that operators monitor and prevent excessive gambling. However, the unregulated sectors present significant risks without the protections offered in legal markets.