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September 30, 2022 Thailand

Thailand: Keeping the dream alive

Now more than ever it appears that Thailand will finally realize a legal casino gaming industry, although it remains to be seen what form it will take.

Long considered a pipe dream, the narrative around a legalized casino industry in Thailand is shifting.

In late July, a parliamentary committee formed last year to study the feasibility of opening Thailand’s first legal casinos submitted its findings to the government, recommending the development of up to five casino resorts across the country in major population and tourist bases such as Bangkok, Pattaya and Phuket.

Aimed at boosting tourism in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic while stemming the outflow of tax revenue from local players gambling elsewhere, the committee has also proposed a tax rate of at least 30% on gaming revenues, as well as minimum age and earnings requirements and potential investment formats – presumably with a view to attracting international IR expertise.

That’s quite a contrast from just nine months ago when experts almost unanimously expressed pessimism over the prospect of Thailand being able to make its casino dream a reality.

“I’m fairly cynical,” one highly experienced commentator told Inside Asian Gaming in February. “I just can’t see them achieving what they need to achieve. Too many snouts in the trough, too many vested interests.”

Fresh from the parliamentary committee submitting its report and hot on the heels of another unlikely piece of legislation – the decriminalization of marijuana for medical and industrial purposes – passing into law, the question today seems to be when, not if, Thailand welcomes a legalized casino industry.

Source: https://www.asgam.com/index.php/2022/09/29/thailand-keeping-the-dream-alive/

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