A recent change in direction on Thailand’s stance on casinos is seen. As of January 12, 2023, the Thai government has revealed that they are going to conduct a study on the feasibility of casinos in the country.
They are first considering the area of Bangkok, the Eastern Economic Corridor and 22 other tourist and border provinces that will be promising locations for future casino sites. The reports also mentioned that the following provinces are included in the list: Phuket, Chiang Mai, Chiang Rai, Krabi, Udon Thani, Koh Kaen, Ubon Ratchatani and Nong Khai.
The range of areas considered lies between the northern and southern parts of the nation, with articles under debate including whether the casinos would be open to both Thais and foreign nationals.
Permitting locals to gamble
It is still in deep discussion and debate on what are the final policies and details when it comes to permitting locals to gamble in these establishments. So far, all agreed that they need to be 21 years of age or older plus have proof of the monetary capacity in their bank accounts with almost USD 15,000 for over a six-month period prior to playing. There is also a general policy — no further details as yet on what the definite numbers will be — on the entry fee to participate and all winnings will be subject to a certain percentage of tax.
The committee in charge of evaluating the legalization of casinos in Thailand also proposes that the integrated resorts or entertainment complexes to house casinos must be larger than those found in Singapore. Further adding that the projects will be managed as a joint venture of public-private investments. They also foresee that a special administrative region zone must be adopted in those areas — for example, Macau — which has its own governing laws despite being a region of China.
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They were also particular about the eight types of gambling that can be permitted in the country. They are: online casinos, sports gambling, event betting, Esports betting, online bingo, foreign lottery betting and spread betting.
The committee’s proposal has been under study since late last year and if approved will be passed onto the government as the next step.
Furthermore on the details of the proposed entertainment complex or integrated resort — this would have to allow only 5% of the total space as the allotted casino gaming area. The rest of the space will be composed of a combination of five-star hotels, shopping, amusement parks, zoos, and indoor and outdoor sports stadiums.
There was also a public opinion survey cited by the media — wherein the majority of the respondents, at an impressive 80% approve of the legalization of casinos. Of those who are all right with the legalization, 56% would prefer that the casinos be ideally located in Bangkok or its neighboring provinces.
The current 1935 bill that’s currently regulating casinos and gambling activities in Thailand will be replaced by a new one that aims to permit online gambling and related gaming businesses into the country.
A former official with the nation’s House of Representatives told the Bangkok Post that the discussions were unlikely to win approval before the representatives’ term ends on February 28th.
Looks like casino enthusiasts are going to have another great gaming destination in Thailand soon. Hopefully, they will be able to open their doors to entertainment centres or integrated resorts. These are, after all, great tourist destinations as well both for local and foreign markets. Any feedback on this, folks? Are we in for tough competition once Thailand has gained ground in its gaming industry? Just comment down below and we look forward to hearing from you!
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