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Gaming operators already on the ground targeting Thai customers: Expert

Top-tier gaming operators “certainly have development teams covering Thailand, and these teams are beginning to visit Bangkok regularly,” says gaming expert Daniel Cheng in an interview with AGB.

Gaming operators already on the ground targeting Thai customers: Daniel Cheng
Daniel Cheng, Gaming expert

Daniel Cheng is a gaming expert and the author of the book entitled How I Built an Integrated Resort.

According to recent reports, Thapanee Kiatphaibool, the governor of the Tourism Authority of Thailand (TAT), met with Pansy Ho, Chairperson and Executive Director of MGM China, late last week to discuss opportunities for tourism cooperation between the two jurisdictions.

Daniel Cheng believes that gaming operators may not have established local offices specifically to obtain new licenses, but many already have sales teams on the ground targeting Thai customers for their resorts in the region.

In addition to Pansy Ho, “other senior casino executives have been paying visits to Thai officials and business leaders in recent months,” he noted.

Bill Hornbuckle, MGM Resorts, CEO, President
Bill Hornbuckle, CEO, MGM Resorts

Bill Hornbuckle, CEO and President of MGM Resorts, has already expressed his interest in Thailand, describing the market as “interesting” during his company’s recent Q1 2024 earnings call.

The interest in the Thai market extends beyond MGM China. Macau’s casino operators are increasingly focusing on Thai tourists, who rank eighth among Macau’s top tourism source markets.

The Bangkok Post reported comments from a representative of Galaxy Entertainment Group, who disclosed plans to open a new office in Bangkok soon. This initiative aims to strengthen the company’s marketing endeavors aimed at attracting Thai players to Macau.

Study coming out any time soon

In mid-May, the Ministry of Finance in Thailand requested an additional two weeks to finalize a feasibility study on the legalization of casino gaming.

Despite the delay, Daniel Cheng anticipates that the study results “will come out any time soon” as the Thai prime minister is pushing to accelerate the process.

Besides the study itself, the expert also mentions that the current Thai prime minister is facing a possible indictment this week. If there is any political instability, the casino legalization process may face delays.

According to a recent report from Maybank, Thailand may open its first Integrated Resorts (IRs) as early as 2029, potentially legalizing casino gaming ahead of Japan. In Osaka, MGM Resorts International’s $10 billion IR development isn’t scheduled for completion until at least 2030.

Viviana Chan
Viviana Chanhttps://agbrief.com/
Viviana Chan is an editor, interpreter, and journalist. With over a decade of experience, she writes in English, Chinese, and Portuguese. Viviana started her career in Macau-based newspapers, where she became passionate about the region's social, financial, and cultural development. Her writing focuses on the economy, emerging industries, gaming development, political affairs, and cross cultural-exchange in the business and cultural domains. She is avid for news and eager to discover and cover stories that generate public relevance.

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