First legal casino gains traction
A special government committee tasked with investigating the introduction of legalized gambling in Thailand has suggested opening the country’s first casino in Bangkok.
Bangkok will be the first city, with casinos to follow in other jurisdictions.
According to local media reports last week, Bangkok will be the first city, with casinos to follow in other jurisdictions. Co-founder of Asia Gaming Brief, Rosalind Wade, shared the news Tuesday via Twitter:
According to AGB, Thailand’s potential first casino will be in Bangkok “and/or its surrounding areas due to proximity to airports, expressways, motorways and hotel infrastructure.” The Asia-facing gambling news service cited government officials as saying other locations under consideration are popular Thailand tourist destinations “in border provinces and near immigration checkpoints.”
The discussions involving the special government committee looking at casino sites are still in the early stages. The Thai committee has to first formalize their talks on gambling legalization before getting to casino approval stage.
Easy on foreigners
Being a Buddhist country, gambling is a thorny moral issue in Thailand, which makes the measures discussed by the committee make more sense.
Foreigners can gain access to a casino simply by flashing their passports.
Foreigners can gain access to a casino simply by flashing their passports. Thai gamblers, meanwhile, will be required to show an identity card, “career information, source of income, financial status, saving account, statement, and financial credits,” reports Thaiger.
The casino would also have an age limit and entry fee.
The news of the committee’s traction gives even more weight to Las Vegas Sands CEO Rob Goldstein’s announcement earlier this month. Goldstein stated his firm may have an interesting prospect in a leading Asian country, which many observers believe to be Thailand.
Hope on the horizon
According to local media reports, however, some commentators have said that a legal market stands a better chance of success this time round, as the Thai government under Prime Minister Prayut Chan-o-cha is more stable. In addition, the new King, Maha Vajiralongkorn, is not anti-gambling like his father.
Last year, PM Prayut confirmed his readiness to consider a legal gambling industry for Thailand. His announcement followed police tracing an outbreak of COVID-19 to illegal gambling dens, with Bangkok the epicenter of the outbreak. The impact of the pandemic on the country’s economy and tourism industry gives the move even more political sway.