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MP proposes opening casinos in Thailand, legalising online gambling

A Thai politician is pushing for the legalisation of gambling and proposing Thailand open casinos at popular tourist destinations like Bangkok and Phuket, saying that it would increase tax revenue.

A leader of the Thai Civilised Party Mongkolkit Suksintharanon says he wants to start a committee to research plans for so-called entertainment complexes which would have a casino, hotel, theme park and other entertainment spots. He says these complexes should be in popular areas like Bangkok, Phuket, Chiang Mai, Phitsanulok, Rayong, Ubon Ratchathani and Nakhon Ratchasima.

He says that legalising gambling could earn tax money, especially online gambling. There are many foreign gambling websites running, but Thailand gets no revenue from it. He says the taxes could bring in 5 to 6 billion baht a year.

“There are many online gambling websites running in foreign countries for Thai people. The websites were running legally while it was illegal for Thai gamblers to play. There is also no taxation charged for gamblers and the Revenue Department is still confused about the law since it is ambiguous.”

Thailand’s tourist-dependent economy took a hit this year, and some say it won’t pick up again until international tourists are allowed back in the country. Mongkolkit says tax money from gambling can bring the economy back up again.

“Since Thailand currently has insufficient income from tourism and exports, the government should consider legalizing what is illegal and bringing the tax into the country. This should be useful for the whole country.”

SOURCE: Pattaya News

This post was last modified on September 1, 2020 12:15 pm

Caitlin Ashworth

Caitlin Ashworth is a writer from the United States who has lived in Thailand since 2018. She graduated from the University of South Florida St. Petersburg with a bachelor’s degree in journalism and media studies in 2016. She was a reporter for the Daily Hampshire Gazette In Massachusetts. She also interned at the Richmond Times-Dispatch in Virginia and Sarasota Herald-Tribune in Florida.

View Comments

  • Casino's would bring levels of corruption never yet seen in a country where corruption is already out of hand.

  • Well the police will be against it - they make plenty from raiding gambling venues.
    Here in Cambodia they lay a mat on the street and gamble for hours for money.
    But the Thais, if they can ban anything, and make money from violations, they will.

  • If Thailand wants to see it's future with Casinos they only have to look next door at Sihanoukville Cambodia. If the idea is to replace the short term tourist dollars why pick a revenue source that will take years to fully develop? Something isn't right with this picture.

  • Bad idea. The social ills will most certainly outweigh any benefits. How many times must we read about horrible crimes committed by those addicted and in debt? I hope this idea dies in the womb.

  • Thailand got its self in a hole with currency manipulation,
    Therefore stifulling exports & turisum.
    Reap what you sow.
    Casinos are not the answer.

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