Thailand’s Cabinet to review legalisation of casinos proposal

Picture courtesy of Immigration Bureau

The Thai Cabinet is set to review a proposal for the legalisation of casinos within the next fortnight, according to Deputy Finance Minister Julapun Amornvivat. Speaking in his role as the chairman of the special committee of the House, mandated with assessing the feasibility of legalising casinos in Thailand, he revealed that the proposal had secured preliminary approval from the House of Representatives last week.

Several Cabinet ministers have voiced positive views on the proposal, citing the potential for it to curb the prevalence of underground gambling. The proposal delegates the authority for its implementation to the Prime Minister, suggesting Srettha Thavisin would likely establish a super board to manage it.

Pichai Naripthaphan, Deputy Chairman of the Pheu Thai Party’s committee on strategies and politics, anticipated that a casino within a broader entertainment complex could generate significant annual revenue for the government. Pichai highlighted the income generated by the casinos in Macao and Singapore, suggesting that similar results could be achieved in Thailand.

“The fact is all neighbouring countries have casinos… And many Thai gamblers cross the border to those casinos and spend a lot of money there.”

Pichai also pointed out the existence of numerous illegal casinos within Thailand, with the economic benefits currently being reaped by corrupt state officials and influential individuals.

The potential revenue increase could be used to finance government policies aimed at supporting vulnerable groups, addressing the impact of an ageing society, and providing more scholarships for students to study abroad, Pichai suggested. He also mentioned the creation of tens of thousands of high-paying jobs, reported Bangkok Post.

However, Deputy Prime Minister Somsak Thepsutin cautioned that the Thai public must be prepared for any potential negative societal effects that could arise from the legalisation of casinos. He cited Singapore’s approach as an example, indicating that they had done similar societal preparation when legalising casinos in the past.

Thailand 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.

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