PHUKET: The Phuket campus of the Prince of Songkhla University (PSU) has decided that it will no longer offer its controversial course in casino and gaming management after the Senatorial Committee on Education, Religion, Arts and Culture declared that the course was “opposed to Buddhism”.
Even though casinos are illegal in Thailand, the university offered its first – and only – 45-hour casino and gaming management elective between March 31 and April 30 this year.
The course had been approved by the Ministry of Education, and was open to doctorate students and those in the university’s MBA international program in hospitality and tourism management.
Students were given lectures by professors from countries where gambling is legal, and went on field trips to casinos at the Andaman Club in Myanmar, just off the coast of Ranong, and Malaysia’s Genting Highlands.
The Director of the program, Associate Professor Manat Chaisawat, told the Gazette that the senatorial committee, spearheaded by Senator Pong Leng-ee, had officially asked the main PSU campus in Haad Yai to reconsider whether the course should be run.
The request was passed on to the Service Industry Faculty at the Phuket campus, where Prof Manat and fellow lecturers agreed to discontinue the course as they now believed that it was not appropriate in Thailand.
“I understand that people don’t want casinos to be legal in Thailand. When the university started the course, many people thought that Phuket would have an entertainment complex in the near future,” Prof Manat said.
Prof Manat also explained that removing the course from the faculty’s range of electives had yet to be approved by the Dean of the main PSU campus in Haad Yai.
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