The history of the Thai lottery

Street in a Thailand

The history of the Thai lottery

Gambling has attracted humans for ages. There might be various reasons for this. A lottery is a modern form of gambling. The lottery is a source of easy money to some, while some like the uncertainty and unpredictability associated with it. Some play the lottery with systematic planning and execution, while some play it casually just for fun. Whatever might be the reason, the lottery has always attracted general people on a large scale. However, it has also ruined a lot of lives. There have been examples of people being addicted to it and losing every dime on the lottery. Due to this, gambling has been illegal in a lot of countries. Thailand was one of them. The history of the Lottery in Thailand is an extensive subject.

Lottery in Thailand and King Rama V

Until 1868, the lottery in Thailand was completely illegal. During the reign of King Rama V, the lottery was first allowed in Thailand. This king was also known as Chulalongkorn. He belonged to the House of Chakri. He was the fifth ruler of Siam, the former name of Thailand. He ruled Thailand from 1853 till 1910. His reign was a progressive one and included several social, cultural, and political reforms. One of these reforms was allowing and legalization of the lottery.

The first lottery in Thailand

The first lottery in Thailand was started in the reign of King Rama V. On the particular day of the lottery, there was the occasion of the King’s birthday. Owing to the special day, the King had granted permission to the Royal Bodyguard to operate a lottery. This happened in the year 1874. The experiment was a successful one and set a good standard and example. Based on this experiment, the lottery was held in Thailand intermittently after 1874 for the next 59 years. There was no perfect time for this lottery to be held.

Regularisation of lottery in Thailand

From 1933, the lottery was conducted regularly in Thailand with good rules and regulations. It became an essential source of income for the government. The government regulated the lottery business and imposed the relevant taxes. Since then, the lottery is conducted regularly.


There have been a lot of changes in the price of the lottery since its induction. Initially, a single lottery ticket could be bought for around 1 Baht. Baht is the official currency of Thailand. Since then, the price has been increasing. Currently, a lottery ticket can be bought in Thailand for around 80 Baht. However, due to the surcharge added to this price, the actual cost of a lottery ticket is often more than 80 Baht.


Reformation of the lottery business was in the primary agenda of the military government that took over in 2014. They eliminated the ‘jackpot’, the bonus first price of around 22 to 30 million.


Although illegal initially, lottery in Thailand has been quite common now because of the systemic reforms brought about by the government.

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