This illegal gambling system is based on the last two or three digits of the officially sanctioned government lottery draw, or, in a variation called “huay hun”, on the last two numbers of the Stock Exchange of Thailand index at the close of each session.
Its cash turnover is estimated at around Baht 100 billion a year (figures from around 1996), (then) roughly equivalent to the total yearly value of Thai rice exports.
Profits between five to thirty million Baht a month mostly go to the bosses who operate and control the lottery in sectors of the capital, in a province, or even in several provinces.
“An analysis of the underground lottery system clearly indicates that when a specific illegal activity is, for whatever reasons, not challenged or controlled, it can lead to a subsequent separate and seemingly unrelated criminal activity. In this case, it is the huge profits from the underground lottery that provide the necessary capital for vote buying, the sine qua non of provincial politics. It is not surprising that many successful MPs are reputed to be underground lottery bosses.”
William Klausner, “Thai Culture in Transition”, Bangkok 1997, p.120, n.9.