The proposals to introduce legalised casinos in Thailand is the hottest story in the Kingdom. The Democrat Party leader, Abhisit Vejjajiva has joined the debate and has questioned if Thailand wanted to be known as a gambling and prostitution destination. (He really said this!)

Abhisit did however offer an interesting alternative. “Why not think of making Thailand renowned for amusement parks instead? In which profile should Thailand be positioned in terms of supporting its blossoming tourism industry?” he said.

He also requested that the Prime Minister Prayut Chan-o-cha declare a clear opinion on whether casinos should be legalised in Thailand or not. Currently the Kingdom’s political leader is open to listening to all arguments for and against before coming to a decision.

Abhisit also called for people to look at the negative effects of the casinos in Singapore. Society there generally see them as a problem.


A minister from the Prime Minister’s office said that if Thailand has legalised casinos, it would not make illegal gambling disappear. He added that studies on casinos in foreign countries must be taken into account before making a decision.

Abhisit made quite a stance by saying that Prayut’s government should abolish their 12 point code of values, which is aimed at young people in particular promoting good conduct and choosing virtue over vice. The Democrat leader was hinting unsubtly really about the government considering legalising casinos in Thailand. The 12 point code is actually a rather good idea to promote to the young people.

Another office minister, Suwaphan Tanyuvardhana, commented that the casino debate is a very sensitive subject, there are those that are clearly for and those that are clearly against the legalisation in Thailand. Ultimately, the public will decide. He also added “The issue would not need to be decided through a referendum, which I think should be reserved for only the draft constitution.”

The National Reform Council group who first proposed the new plans for legalising casinos in the Kingdom will present their ideas to Prayut next month.

Major Anan Watcharothai, a leader within the reformist group, promised to listen to all those in opposition to the proposals, but will not change his mind.

As an indication of the potential success of having legalised casinos in Thailand Ranong Immigration revealed that between January and May of this year some 93,809 Thais visited two Burmese islands, Koh Son and Koh Khoo where Thai owned casinos operate.

Sucheep Phatthong, head of a network of civic groups and is opposed to having legal casinos in Thailand, revealed that many Thai gamblers end up in financial trouble after visiting the Burmese casinos.

This debate has only really just started. Love Pattaya Thailand will keep you up to date with the story as it unfolds…


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