MGM Resorts set sights on Thailand that could help attract more tourists

Thailand, which has notoriously steered away from gambling, has started to make moves towards legalising casinos – with the hope that it could put them up there with other famous gambling destinations and attract more tourists to the country.

In the past few months, lawmakers in the country have approved a report, meaning that there is a very real possibility that an entertainment complex consisting of a casino in one of 22 possible locations, including Bangkok, could be in the pipeline.

A Well-Needed Boost

Before the pandemic, Tourism in Thailand accounted for one-fifth of the country’s GDP but it has suffered since. However, some believe that the introduction of casinos could give it a well-needed boost to get those numbers back up again and add to the list of reasons why Thailand is popular to visit, along with festivals like Songkran.

The proposed report would include conditions for both foreigners and Thai residents to visit casinos and it is now ready to go to the cabinet for further consideration.

Related news

MGM Sees an Opportunity

MGM Resorts International has recently released its latest report – boasting more than $2.1 billion in revenue for its Las Vegas operations alone and it has offered an insight into its possible future in the Asia Pacific.

As it stands, MGM is looking to become the second US-based gaming operator in the country… although it still needs to await confirmation that Thailand will push new laws through as this still isn’t definite. At the moment, the only way any Thai residents can play at any casino is by heading online and picking casinos recommended to them – and spinning the reels from home. But all multinational companies will be looking to jump in should this change.

The CEO and President of MGM, Bill Hornbuckle, has continued to highlight their interest in moving into Thailand according to numerous sources – and he has also hinted that they will continue to maintain their casino operations with the popular Asian gaming destination, Macau.

It seems that the company has a lot happening in the Asia Pacific stage right now. It has been a part of the Macau gaming market for quite a long time already and there is also the hope that Japan will look to approve Osaka’s IR (Integrated Resort) later on in the year.

The Future is Bright for the Asia Pacific

If the proposed Osaka project does get the go-ahead, then there will be a massive financial commitment for the company. MGM, alongside its consortium partners, will need to spend a minimum of $2.5 billion to fund the project. It will also have additional financial obligations to help with the improvement of the infrastructure in the region. That being said, it remains confident of its financial stability.

Thailand is a dream that is still in its early stages, but Japan would also be a huge milestone and a cornerstone for the company in the Asian market.

Big Dreams

The Japan consideration along with the consideration to enter a future Thailand gaming market could be a huge step forward in its continual push for globalization. Although Thailand still hasn’t confirmed that it will enter the gaming industry, should it do so, it could be financially beneficial for all parties involved.

Currently, all that they can do right now is sit back, watch, and wait to see what happens next – and hope that the Osaka IR doesn’t take up too many of its resources.

Macau Question Marks

In Macau, where the company runs its MGM China subsidiary there are also some unanswered questions over its future. Obviously, there is no doubt that MGM wishes to remain part of the hugely profitable market. But, because of the changes within the industry, options are still very much open.

The six licensed casinos in Macau are now submitting their applications for new concessions and over the coming months, these applications will be reviewed – and new licenses should be issued by the end of the year.

However, the popular Asian gaming region is starting to make changes to how it issues its concessions and the operators’ obligations. Most notably, it is asking for upfront as well as continuous monetary investments from its operators.

Is Thailand Really Possible?

With the increased financial pressures that could be added by the Osaka IR and monetary contributions in Macau, is Thailand feasible? Well, even if MGM still has the money to invest, Thailand certainly isn’t definite to enter the market. Yes, the government looks to be interested and seems to want to attract multinational investors, but the public still isn’t convinced. According to studies, 57% of residents are against these moves – and they need to be convinced as well.

This is a market filled with opportunities for MGM – and if it manages to push through its Asia Pacific dreams, it could be beneficial to all.

Business News

Mitch Connor

Mitch is a Bangkok resident, having relocated from Southern California, via Florida in 2022. He studied journalism before dropping out of college to teach English in South America. After returning to the US, he spent 4 years working for various online publishers before moving to Thailand.

Related Articles