Thai Justice Minister Wants to Fully Legalize Gambling on Animal Fighting, such as Bulls and Fish, as a Soft Power for Thailand


The Thai Justice Minister has shown his support to turn animal fighting into legal gambling for Thailand as a soft power.

Justice Minister Somsak Thepsutin said according to the secretary to the interior minister Mr. Suttipong Juljarern that the interior minister issued a letter on February 24th to provincial governors to prepare for the approval of animal fighting gambling after Covid-19 is now under control. Proposals for this are:

  1. Venues for bullfighting can be opened once a month in Nakhon Si Thammarat, Songkhla and Phatthalung while other provinces can open once a week.
  2. Cockfighting and fish fighting can be opened once a week on weekends but must not on the same day as important Buddhist days.
  3. For cow racing, underage people are not allowed even to enter venues.

Mr. Somsak said these local animals fighting with legal gambling can be a soft power to boost the economy as well as to boost tourism to attract tourists.

The proposal got as expected mostly negative attention from western readers and commenters, although Thai reactions were mixed.


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Goongnang Suksawat
Goong Nang is a News Translator who has worked professionally for multiple news organizations in Thailand for many years and has worked with The Pattaya News for more than four years. Specializes primarily in local news for Phuket, Pattaya, and also some national news, with emphasis on translation between Thai to English and working as an intermediary between reporters and English-speaking writers. Originally from Nakhon Si Thammarat, but lives in Phuket and Krabi except when commuting between the three.