A Brief Snapshot of Thailand’s Music and Gambling Cultures
Thailand is distinguished as the only Asian country that has not been colonized by any Western or Asian powers, yet its culture is a mix of foreign influences. These are most evident in Thai music and the citizens’ fervent love for gambling. The latter was mostly gained from the country’s cultural connection with two of Asia’s oldest civilizations, China and India.
A Snapshot of Thailand’s Music History
The most prominent example of foreign influence in Thai music can be gleaned from the widely popular traditional Thai music mor lam, which has close resemblance with Laos music.
Actually, Thai music took long before it flourished in the country, mainly because of the oppressive rules of Thai monarchs. The city of Ayutthaya for one, which was then a center for cultural development was ordered burned down by Taksin. The latter was the military commander who installed himself as the new King of Siam in 1767. Taksin’s rule, known as the Bangkok Period saw the fall of the city of Ayutthaya.
As a result, most of the art collections and libraries containing manuscripts of knowledge about ancient Thai culture were lost; making reconstruction of Thai’s music history an unimportant project during the Bangkok period.
The country actually lost its traditional system of notation to which chanting became the oral culture, which was integrated as a unique traditional music of Thailand. It was only in 1782 when Thai musical evolution began, but mostly a mix of varying influences introduced by different immigrants coming from neighboring countries.
Why Gambling Culture Continues to Pervade in Thailand
If there was one culture from the Ayutthaya period that remained intact in Thailand during the Bangkok era, it was the operation of gambling businesses.
Thai historians said that the government tolerated and even promoted gambling in the country as a way to increase taxation among Chinese immigrants. However, many not so wealthy Siams were too involved in gambling that they became greatly indebted and driven to poverty.
During the reign of Rama V (1868-1910), gambling houses were shut down as many Siams lost their livelihood due to gambling addiction. In 1930, the new parliamentary Thai government passed and enacted the Gambling Act that prohibited any form of gambling either as a business, or as a recreation. In later years, as the lottery remained popular among Thai locals, the government cashed in on the opportunity to earn revenues by running a government-run lottery program.
Even today, even if gambling is illegal in Thailand, more than half of Thailand’s local population engage in various gambling activities. Yet due to the adverse economic impact of the COVID-19 pandemic, Thai lawmakers are already studying the potential benefits of allowing foreign investors to integrate casino businesses in the country’s popular vacation destinations. Many are convinced that it will help the country regain its drawing power as the most popular tourism destination in Asia.
It also suggests that gambling will still be illegal among Thai locals. This seems to have little impact as many have since turned to gambling in online casinos; finding them as better alternatives to the underground gambling dens often raided by Thai authorities.
Besides, there are reputable local online casinos offering both online and mobile gambling products all working under a secure encryption system and private network. One of the most popular is pggames168, being a direct website of the PG Soft Games company that also creates real money pg slot games.