Legalized Gambling In Thailand

The idea of legalizing gambling and opening gambling casinos in Thailand first came up when Thaksin Shinawatra was head of the government in 2004, then Samak Sundaravej, who was briefly head of the government in 2008 thought it, might be a good idea and then the Yingluck Shinawatra government put the idea up for debate in 2011.

All previous attempts at making gambling legal by all previous governments failed due to strong public criticism.

Then last year the idea it was re-floated yet again by former national police Chief Somyot Poompunmuang but the proposal lost steam after Prime Minister Prayut Chan-o-cha brought the proposal to a halt.

Mr. Sungsidh Piriyarangsan said casinos could be legalized only after winning widespread public support and with the backing of an honest government and operators interested in running the business but he also repeated that the Prayut government had shown no support for the idea. Though, he claimed, an increasing number of middle-income earners agree with the concept of legal casinos in Thailand.

According to a study conducted by the dean of Rangsit University’s College of Social Innovation, more than 100 billion baht a year in tax revenue would be expected to pour into state coffers if casinos are legalized in Thailand.

Mr Sungsidh said legal casinos would boost the number of foreign tourists visiting the country by 40-50%; excluding contributions from tourism and conferences; his findings being based on the models of Singapore and Macau.

To alleviate the negative impact from legal casinos, Singapore’s laws governing the business are a good example for Thailand to follow, he went on to say.

Those laws only permit people of 21 or over to gamble and anyone deemed to have a gambling problem can be barred from entering.

The case for legalizing gambling is based not only on the vast profits that could be made but also on the belief it would reduce the number of criminal cases, help create jobs and boost incomes.

There was a lot of talk about “Casinos being made legal in Thailand” last year, click here to see what was said! 


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