Could Las Pattaya be Getting Closer?
There has been a lot of talk in recent times about the potential for the gambling laws in Thailand to be relaxed. As most of you will know, gambling in almost every form is currently illegal in the Kingdom but there has long been suggestions that this could change with some suggesting that that the extremely sad death of the King could be a trigger.
If the rumours are to be believed, Pattaya has been preparing itself for some time for a relaxing of the laws with some of the major hotels believed to have plans in place for casinos, if indeed that don’t have casinos already in existence that have been mothballed. It would seem that the city is perfectly geared up for, and in a position to act immediately, if something that would on the face of it be huge, were to happen.
The city already has a thriving nightlife and party atmosphere and many of the high end hotels already have a presence. There would obviously be an almost instantaneous growth once any such plans were announced but it appears that the city is in a position to make the most of any change almost immediately, certainly in terms of high quality properties.
What are the chances of this happening? Well, like many things it is speculation at this stage although the rumours do seem to be increasing almost by the day. The old adage that “there is no smoke without fire” could well be true, especially in light of recent events. There are other noticeable changes that may be related. Local developers are again looking at starting new projects, many of which are connected to the major hoteliers.
We have seen a shift in recent years towards more short term rentals, away from the previous 6 or 12 month contracts. Now this is certainly a reflection of the type of visitors that Pattaya is attracting but developers are now offering fantastic incentives for investors with guaranteed rental returns. It appears that these developers can’t build properties quick enough to cope with the current demand, so are increasing their efforts to cater for the potential massive influxes should gambling be made legal.
So how are these investors responding to the situation? Well, there is an obvious correlation between the increase in the number of properties being built and investor interest. Quite simply, investors are buying into the idea and buying big in projects offering rental guarantees such as the New Nordic options in the Pratamnak area. Prices are relatively lower at the present time so these properties are hugely attractive even without the added potential of Pattaya becoming Las Pattaya.
If this happens, we are sure to see prices sky rocket almost overnight and we could enter a situation of under supply in terms of the number of properties available.