Thailand – Casino plans denied by NRCBy Lewis - 17 June 2015
Thailand’s National Reform Council (NRC) Chairman, Thienchay Kiranandana, has rejected proposals by some NRC members to legalise casinos in the country. Mr. Kiranandana said the plam did not come from the agency, and it is not part of a recent set of planned reforms.
Mr Thienchay said the proposal has not been submitted to the council. “Calls to legalise casinos are not among the reform proposals we have put up,” he said.
His comment came after a group of 12 NRC members reinvigorated a dormant proposal to legalise casinos, saying income from legalising casinos would boost state coffers, be good for the poor, and help pay for development projects.
Representing the group, Maj Anan Vacharothai suggested changing the law to legalise casinos, and opening the first casino in Pattaya. He told parliament that legalising domestic casinos will help stop money flowing out of the country and into neighbouring countries where up to 22 casinos have been established. Kriengkrai Phumlaojaeng, another NRC member, said the group is gathering information on casinos from previous studies on the matter, and will invite academics to provide input.
Former Democrat MP Watchara Phetthong slammed the proposal, saying NRC members should come up with ideas to solve the country’s economic problems rather than support nefarious activities.