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Thailand – Thailand’s House of Representatives once again sets up committe to research casino introduction

By - 31 October 2023

Thailand’s House of Representatives has now set up a 60-member committee to study the possible opening of entertainment complexes, including casinos, to counter the issue of illegal gambling spend and boost the country’s economy.

The move follows a report back in January recommending that entertainment complexes should be built with no more than five per cent of the floor space dedicated to gaming in up to five locations with Bangkok, Pattaya, Rayong, Phuket, Krabi, and Phang Nga all suggested as ideal locations.

Supports of the motion include Thoedchart Chaipong, Pheu Thai MP for Chiang Rai, Non Paisanlimcharoenkij, Move Forward Party MP for Nonthaburi, and Chatchawal Kong-udom, MP for the United Thai Nation Party.

It aims to set up a committee to investigate the pros and cons of introducing casino gaming as was discussed last Thursday in a session of the House of Representatives chaired by House Speaker Wan Muhamad Noor Matha.

Rangsiman Rome, an MP from the Move Forward Party, gave his support, highlighting that the previous House of Representatives had also set up a similar working body to investigate the matter.

The Move Forward MP said he believes that the legalisation of casinos in Thailand would lead to the closure of casinos at the border with Cambodia and would redirect Thai gambling spend into government revenue for national development.

After the debate, in which no MP objected, Wan set up a 60-member committee to look into the opening of entertainment complexes. The committee has 90 days to complete its task.

Pichet Chuamuangphan believes a casino in the Greater Bangkok area, along with gaming floors in seaside southern regions could generate at least $11bn in taxes if tax was set at 30 per cent.

He said: “We’re focused on attracting foreigners to step up tourism and draw more money out of their pockets. This will also stem the outflow of money from Thai gamblers and help the government collect hefty taxes for our economic security.”

“Providing multiple activities will avoid the creation of gambling dens and broaden the appeal of the tourism industry,” he added.

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