Governor rejects casino idea
PHUKET TOWN: Phuket does not need a legal casino, Governor Udomsak Usawarangkura said today. He told a meeting of officers at Phuket Provincial Hall that it would not deliver benefits to the island but would only create more problems. “Even if we have a legal casino in Phuket, it doesn’t mean that illegal casinos will disappear,” he said. Crime, especially robbery, was likely to flourish, he added, noting that most local people were opposed to having a casino on the island. Krabi was an alternative. K. Udomsak said he would talk with the governor of Krabi to see whether they wanted a casino there. The General Manager of the Royal Paradise Hotel, Patong, Dr Jirachai Amornpairoj, agreed that Phuket did not need a legal casino. He said that most tourists had them in their own countries. They came to Phuket to enjoy the natural beauty and to escape other kinds of entertainment, he said. “The selling point of Phuket is nature, not gambling,” Dr Jirachai said. “In my opinion, legal casinos should be provided in low-income provinces instead. “I don’t think gamblers need beaches, coconuts, waves, or any other natural stuff. They gamble and that’s their only concern.” But Suratin Lianudom, an elected member of the Provincial Administration Organization, told the Gazette that it would be good if Phuket were allowed to establish legal casinos. “Besides the natural attractions, we should have routine entertainment for tourists, too, such as casinos,” he said. The government should impose a system that would allow only people who could afford to gamble to go to a casino, he said, stressing that it was important to prevent those who couldn’t afford to gamble from losing all their money. There should also be children’s playgrounds and other facilities for gamblers with families, he said. “In my opinion, if we have legal casinos, it would give us a lot more income for Thailand and Phuket,” he added.
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