Thais estimated to spend 70 billion baht on World Cup betting

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BANGKOK, 6 June 2014 – The University of the Thai Chamber of Commerce (UTCC) has estimated that Thai soccer fans are estimated to spend about 70 billion baht during the World Cup 2014, while expressing concerns that the event would lure more gamblers and lead to rising household debts.

Mr. Thanawat Polwichai, Director of the Economic and Business Forecasting Center of the UTCC said that up to 69.2 billion baht is expected to be spent during the upcoming World Cup, an increase of 16% from the last tournament in 2010.

He said that out of the estimated spending, about 25 billion baht would be on snacks & drinks, electronic devices for watching the match, and souvenirs.

The Director also said the remaining amount is for gambling which could be as high as 43 billion baht, a jump of 17% from the last World Cup.

Meanwhile, the Thai Chamber of Commerce has expressed its concerns over the projected increasing number of gamblers. According to the agency’s research, 51.3% of the gamblers expect to make a profit from their bets, a significant surge from the previous figure which was at 33.33 percent.

The TCC urged the administrative body to tighten measures against gambling, saying the activity would put gamblers at risk of great financial burdens. It also indicated that 45.3% of the low income earners are World Cup gamblers.