There’s a “numbers game” (underground lottery) in Thailand. A typical bet (though other bets are available) is a 3-digit number, e.g. 447. The payoff is 600-1 (wholesale) or 500-1 (retail). For example, a runner might charge 12 baht for a number and give 10 baht to the operator. With 6000 baht payoff, the player is getting the “retail” rate, but would get the “wholesale” price if the runner were bypassed.
I had an in-law who was an operator; he had to lay off bets when there were too many on a single number. Although a round is 15 days, many people would wait till the last hour to bet by phone. My in-law lazed around for 14 days, but twice a month had a hectic hour when he received bets. He’d close his book twenty minutes before deadline, look for numbers he needed to lay off, send them by motorcycle to a wholesaler who took bets uninspected.
My in-law got only the wholesale price (600-1) on bets he laid off, so made no profit on those. I toyed with involvement but it would probably have been a huge mistake. The police generally know who all the operators are but look the other way if bribed. Catching a foreigner, however, would be a major feather in their cap! BTW, if you have some actuarial or other harmless pursuit involving lists of numbers, be careful in Thailand! Lists of numbers are taken as prima facie proof of involvement in the numbers racket.
The winning numbers for the Thai numbers racket are numbers that show up in the government lottery, though the mapping to payoffs is completely different. For a while, the government competed with the underground, offering tickets with the same payoff schedule as underground. They dropped it due to lack of customers, however, Thais preferring the underground for flexibility, credit, and, perhaps, social motives.