In most of these establishments the prostitutes are directly employed, but in hotels, some bars and discos freelance prostitutes are allowed to solicit clients.
Prostitutes will usually receive a commission when a customer buys drinks and sexual services can be arranged to take place on premises or elsewhere (with the latter requiring the customer to pay a "bar fine" to release the prostitute from the bar).
does not explicitly state that prostitution in Thailand is illegal, but Title IX, Section 286 of the Penal Code states: “Any person, being over sixteen years of age, [sic] subsists on the earning of a prostitute, even if it is some part of her incomes [sic], shall be punished with imprisonment of seven to twenty years and fined of fourteen thousand to forty thousand Baht, or imprisonment for life.” While penalties are not specified, the same section of the act penalizes any person who (i) is found residing or habitually associating with a prostitute, (ii) receives boarding, money or other benefits arranged for by a prostitute or (iii) assists any prostitute in a quarrel with a customer.
The Act was also written to address child prostitution, but lacks complete clarity, as it does not define what an "indecent act" is.
According to the act, sex workers must also undergo rehabilitation for one year at a reform house upon the completion of punishment for practicing prostitution. If you want a sex destination, you go to Thailand.— Hamat Bah, Gambian Tourism Minister commenting on local sex tourism trends, however provoking a rebuke from Thailand. However, NGOs believed there were between 200,000 and 300,000 prostitutes." It has been suggested for example that there may be as many as 10,000 prostitutes on Ko Samui alone, an island resort destination not usually noted for prostitution, and that at least 10 percent of tourist dollars may be spent on the sex trade.
Since 1960, prostitution in Thailand has been de jure illegal.
Nevertheless, it was estimated to be worth US.4 billion a year in revenue (2015), accounting for a significant portion of the national GDP.
Many other service sector workers offer sexual services as a sideline.
Thai prostitution is divided into different sectors that serve different markets (the main criteria being the socioeconomic status of customers and the nationality of both customers and prostitutes).