Gambling, the State and Society in Thailand, c.1800-1945

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  • Edition: 1st
  • Format: Hardcover
  • Copyright: 2013-04-09
  • Publisher: Routledge

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In late nineteenth century Thailand there was a huge boom in gambling Thai, Chinese and Western. Taxes on gambling became a major source of government revenue and the government itself in the early twentieth century promoted state-run lotteries and casinos. At the same time there was a growing anti-gambling movement which successfully limited gambling to such an extent that most popular forms of gambling are officially illegal in present day Thailand. This book charts the development of gambling in Thailand and relates it to the development of Thai state and society, showing how gambling was a fundamental issue hugely affecting political developments. It considers the difference between law and how law is enforced, outlining how the Thai elite, though professing opposition to gambling, often both tolerated and profited from it, as did the police. It contrasts state regulation of gambling with the state's laxer approach to opium and prostitution, and compares Thai attitudes and policies towards vice with attitudes and policies in other Asian countries. It concludes by discussing why the ambivalent attitude to gambling continues to prevail.

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