What makes over 40 Million people travel to Las Vegas every year? Hint: It’s not the beaches. If you guessed casinos, pat yourself on the back.
Millions upon millions of people flock to places like Las Vegas and Macau every year for the gambling. Whether they are rolling the dice, racking in the poker chips or joyfully pulling on the lever of a slot machine for hours on end, people enjoy the thrill and adrenaline rush that go hand in hand with making wagers.
Knowing this, it is hard to understand why a country such as Thailand, which has ample amounts of nightlife coupled with some pretty terrific weather that you can ride a motorcycle in year round would be against gambling. For those of you that have been paying attention to the news however, you can see that there are neon lights at the end of the tunnel and the sound of cash tills constantly ringing may soon be a possibility.
This year has brought about many changes in Thailand; the most notable of these changes being the loss of their great monarch and Thailand’s father figure for the last 70 years his Majesty King Bhumibol Adulaydej. During the reign of King Bhumibol, casinos were forbidden. As Thailand waits anxiously for the crowning of their new King, Crown Prince Maha Vajiralongkorn, Union Gaming Securities Asia Ltd. has announced that they believe Thailand’s stance on casinos may change under the new ruler.
With the collapse of Macau in 2014, the fact is that Asia needs a new hub for gambling and you can bet the bank (pun totally intended) that whoever becomes this hub, will instantly become the next best tourist destination to visit. Grant Govertsen, head of Asian equity research at Union Gaming wrote “Over the long-term, a newly elected government under the new monarch, or perhaps a strengthened military government, could green light the holy grail of gaming expansion in Southeast Asia”.
Currently Thailand depends heavily on tourism (according to a report from the Department of Tourism, 2015 saw visits from over 29.9 million tourists). Thailand has been being looked at by the gambling community for some time now and many regard it as the most prime real estate for the casino hub.
Thailand is one of three remaining countries in the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) that does not have legal casinos, the other two being Brunei and Indonesia. Cambodia and Laos have casinos along the border that rely heavily on the Thai population to remain in operation.
The National Reform Council (NRC) believes that Pattaya would be an ideal place for any casino efforts as it is already one of the most popular beach destinations for tourists and holds some of Thailand’s most popular nightlife spots. Mr. Sungsidh Piriyangsan, Dean of the Rangsit University College of Social Innovation believes that Thailand’s tourism market could increase by as much as fifty percent and that the Thai government would be able to collect an additional $2.8 billion in taxes on gambling.
With so many people with the opportunity to make money hand over fist, it’s highly unlikely that the casino ban will be in place much longer and there are already rumors floating around town about possible future casino locations in Pattaya.
Thailand is currently bustling with the expats that live here full time or come on the six here, six home routine. People from every country have seen the potential Thailand has to offer and made the move to become full time residents here. With the current attitude of change about (new rulers, casinos, medical marijuana) and Thailand being poised to be the WORLD’S favorite tourist destination, there is no better time to get invested and settled down.
If you are home right now, reading this article and it makes you question your current career path and life choices, the best advices we have for you is stop what you are doing, drop everything and invest in your future and the future of Thailand.
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