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Entertainment venues get temporary reprieve

Legacy Phuket Gazette



Entertainment venues get temporary reprieve | Thaiger

BANGKOK: The Cabinet resolved today that entertainment venues may stay open until 2 am for the time being because new regulations enforcing earlier closing times have yet to be approved. A source in the Cabinet Secretariat, who asked not to be named, told the Gazette that all venues, regardless of when they received operating licenses, could stay open until 2 am. “But they must follow the law rigidly,” he added, “or they will be closed immediately.” Wisut Romin, Deputy Secretary of the Phuket Provincial Administrative Office, explained that the delay in announcing earlier closing times was because the Office of the Council of State has yet to examine the Ministry of Interior’s proposed regulations to check the legal terminology. The regulations will be handed to the Office tomorrow. Once this process is complete, the Ministry will publish the new regulations in the Royal Gazette, giving them immediate effect. How long this process will take is not clear. K. Wisut also stressed that venues in Phuket will have to adhere to the law. “There will be no exceptions or exemptions. The law is the law. But for now, they can open until 2 am. “They must also follow the laws on drugs, underage customers and crimes in their venues, otherwise they will be closed immediately.” He offered a faint ray of hope that 2 am closing will continue. “I believe the Ministry of Interior may exempt tourism provinces such as Phuket,” he said. Pattanapong Akevanich, Chairman of the Phuket Tourist Association (PTA) and a member of the ad hoc committee set up by entertainment venues to battle early closing, warned that Phuket could face considerable economic losses if venues are forced to close earlier. “Foreign tourists don’t come here only for the beautiful beaches. Phuket’s entertainment venues are also a part of the attraction for them,” he told the Gazette. “A lot of them enjoy the nightlife. If the time they have to enjoy themselves is shortened, tourist numbers will fall and tourists who do come here will spend fewer days in Phuket. “From our studies we have found that the average tourist spends 400 baht an hour while in Phuket, so the losses will be significant if we reduce the hours in which they can spend money. “We estimate we will lose as much as 20 billion baht a year in tourist revenue.”


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