Thailand Bids for a New Era of Casino Legislation

Thailand Gambling Future

Well known for its rich culture, stunning landscapes, and busy cities, Thailand is confident that introducing new casino legislation will mark a notable shift in its entertainment industry. 

This legislation comes amidst an increase in the competitive environment for gambling within Southeast Asia. Is Thailand eyeing a replication of the thriving market in Singapore? 

Background of Gaming in Thailand

Gambling has been largely restricted in Thailand since the Gambling Act of 1935. Like any other country, there was “underground” gambling, unknown to the government, until it periodically cracked open the can of worms and closed the illegal gambling operations, with concerns for organised crime. 

Julapun Amornvivat, Deputy Finance Minister, has said that the region must acknowledge the elicit gambling sector and that action must be taken.

The current legislation regarding gambling in Thailand has strict regulations with limited exceptions. The Gambling Act of 1935 is the primary law directly regulating all gambling activities in Thailand. The Act prohibits all citizens from participating in casino or betting games. However, there are two legal forms of gambling: Horse Race Betting and the National Lottery.

Thailand’s proposed casino legislation represents a notable departure from its anti-gambling policies and signals a brave move towards embracing the lucrative casino industry. As Thailand moves forward with this change, everyone is on the edge of their seat to see how it will shape the future of the country’s entertainment landscape. 

Long Road Ahead for Thailand

The House of Representatives in Thailand has approved a study to explore the benefits of casinos. Once completed, the study will be published by the government.

The aim is to boost tourism and stimulate economic growth. Supporters argue that regulated casinos would attract high-spending tourists, generate income for public service, create jobs, and eliminate illegal casinos.

Prime Minister of Thailand, Srettha Thavisin, said, “The entertainment complexes will enhance the country’s tourism industry and attract investors, local and international.”

The new legislation indicates that it will be location-specific, like in beach resorts and entertainment districts. Strict regulations will oversee the operation of these casinos to avoid any possible issues from arising.

Implementation of the new casino legislation will take a lot of work. However, a 17% tax rate for the country was recently agreed upon. In a recent voting process, 253 out of 257 “lawmakers” voted to approve the suggested laws, and the plan will now be sent to the cabinet for final approval. Experts expect the casino legislation to be approved within three years.

Thailand Gambling FAQs

❓ Why is the government in Thailand considering this change?

The consideration of new gambling laws in Thailand is all being done for economic growth and to expand the entertainment sector in the country.

👨‍⚖️ What are the concerns regarding new gambling legislation in Thailand?

The only concern at this point is the potential for an increase in crime, addiction amongst citizens, and social disruption.

🎰 Will citizens in Thailand also be allowed to gamble, or will it only be for tourists?

It has not yet been revealed if Thailand citizens will be allowed to access the casinos once they are established. We should know more closer to 2026.

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