As many as four million Thais are expected to engage in World Cup 2022 online gambling during the month-long competition, including about one million new participants, according to Thanakorn Komkrit, secretary-general of the Stop Gambling Foundation.
He said that, normally, between 3 and 4 million Thai people are regular online football gamblers. During the World Cup, however, that number is expected to climb by about one million, 13% of whom will be youths.
From his experience in the efforts to stop gambling during the last World Cup four years ago, Thanakorn admitted that, since gambling has migrated to online platforms, monitoring and control have become more difficult.
Meanwhile, professional web development companies, mostly based abroad, have been competing to offer services developing gambling platforms for those who want to open an online gambling website for the World Cup matches.
One such website administrator recently told Thai PBS that developing a gambling website may cost up to a million baht, as each website will have more than 10 gambling links.
As an alternative to developing a website, to save cost, he said that there are about 12 companies which are offering leasing services at 120,000-150,000 baht per website, adding that those who want their own gambling website will have to pay up to an additional 15% to the system owner on top of the one million baht for the developing of a website.
One online gambler said that, when a gambler logs into the system to start gambling, he will notice that several other gambling links offering better deals pop up on the screen of his smart phone if he uses their gambling websites.
we think more like 8 million