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Thailand still facing local opposition to legalized gambling: expert


Industry experts say that there are still many issues that need to be addressed and followed regarding potential future casino legislation in Thailand.

This comes as the nation’s casino bill is going to be considered in the lower house at the nation’s National Assembly on March 28th.

At the 6th ASEAN Gaming Summit in Manila, a panelist from Spectrum Gaming Group, SVP of Investigations Paul Bromberg, highlighted the huge illegal gambling market that has existed for many years in Thailand. The expert noted that, alongside the casino legalization process, the Thai authorities need to be clear about this situation.

“If Thailand wishes to be successful, I think that they really need to draw from that experience and communicate well with people, because although some surveys say that people are in favor of legalized gaming in Thailand, there’s still a lot of opposition because of social problems.”

“Getting public support is essential. I think they realize that they will need to explain very clearly. And then they will need to have strong regulations and enforcement in order to attract the type of investment. It’s really very much. This is obviously an enormous amount of work to do.”

According to the draft bill, Thailand could implement a 17 percent tax on gaming revenue. If realized, it will be “very attractive” for investors, says Daniel Cheng, an industry veteran.

Cheng considers that the rate is roughly on par with Singapore’s tax bracket for mass gross gaming revenue, which will surely buoy investor interest.

An analysis by the nation’s Finance Ministry indicated that Thais will constitute three-quarters of the spending at potentially five to eight entertainment complexes which could be built in the Southeast Asian kingdom.

Viviana Chan
Viviana Chan
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.