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Thu 23 Mar 2017
Gambling Students
Written by Gor   
Tuesday, 10 September 2002 00:00

I talked before about pok deng, the card game that even young children can play. The bet could start from a few baht up to whatever you want. But really if someone wants to gamble with lots of money, they usually go to a higher level game which is more serious and strict. The famous one I know and see often is football. There are others as well. For example: horse racing, boxing, motorcycle racing, cock fighting and even fish fighting.

I read somewhere recently that about 70 percent of adults gamble. But, it is not only adults gambling, there are also thousands of students doing it. Most of them gamble because they think they can get money quickly and easily. They don’t think about what would happen when they lose. If they don’t pay on time, they might at first just get beaten up. If it has been a long time they might get shot.

 Some people might not believe what I just said but you know what, I didn’t believe it when I first heard it either. However, I started to believe when it happened to one of my friends. I’ll tell you what happened to him.

My friend’s name is Tum and he is addicted to gambling. He likes to gamble on football and he usually wins. At first, he didn’t put so much money on the matches but later he started to place bigger and bigger bets. One day he was so positive about a football match that he decided he would try being a bookie himself. He allowed other people to come to him to place bets. He also placed his own bet at a bigger bookie. But his team didn’t win and he lost lots of money. He was shocked when he worked it out that he owed people nearly 20,000 baht (US$476)!

He came and asked to borrow some money from me but at that time I didn’t have much. A few days later, I met him by the market with lots of bruises on his face and body. He said he got beaten up by the people he gambled with. He said next time they were going to shoot him if he didn’t give them the money. I told him to tell his parents but he said he was too scared. So I called his parents and told them about the money and what happened. They were shocked. Then I took Tum home to meet his parents.

The next day Tum rang and told me that his parents had borrowed some money from the bank for him. I asked him, "Will you gamble again?" He said he would never do it again. I told him I’d wait and see. What happened to Tum scared most of my friends who like gambling. Some of them stopped but there are some who are still doing it. Maybe they will continue until they get caught by the police or beaten up by a bookie.

Not long ago, I read in the newspaper that some people want to make gambling legal. They argued that the police can’t really control gambling at the moment. But if the government makes it legal and brings it out in the open, it will be much easier for the police to control. Other people said that gambling goes against what the Buddha teaches. If you make it legal, you might ruin the values of Thai society.

At first I couldn’t decide which group of people to agree with. They both had good points. But after I thought about it again properly, I now agree with those who try to make it legal. Not that I am addicted to gambling but if you think you will know why I chose this side. It’s all because I thought about the future, not the present. We are in the technology age but Thailand is not really that far ahead yet. I think it is all because we are too strict to the Buddhist precepts. We should let go of some of the precepts and be more open to the world. That’s what I think, what about you?