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Casino biz can lift tourist spending by 52% in Thailand: study 


A study, due to be submitted to the Thai parliament on Thursday, suggests that once integrated resorts (IR) with casinos are established, there is a possibility for a significant increase in average tourist expenditure, potentially by 52 percent to THB65,050 ($1,790) per trip.

Cited by Bloomberg on Tuesday, the study indicates that legalizing casinos within entertainment complexes in Thailand has the potential to boost tourism revenue by approximately $12 billion, while also addressing the persistent issue of illicit gambling.

According to the report, the study stated that the additional income generated could enhance the country’s gross domestic product (GDP) growth by 1.16 percentage points.

Casino biz can lift tourist spending by 52% in Thailand: study 
Julapun Amornvivat, Thai Deputy Finance Minister

The findings of the report could influence the House of Representatives to advance a bill legalizing casinos and various forms of gambling. Under the guidance of Deputy Finance Minister Julapun Amornvivat, a panel of lawmakers has proposed several measures to prevent Thai citizens from developing gambling addictions.

Thai Prime Minister Srettha Thavisin has taken a proactive stance on policies aimed at attracting foreign direct investment, and the proposed initiative may navigate parliamentary obstacles smoothly.

Southeast Asian economies struggle as Chinese tourists stay away

Macau gaming operator Galaxy Entertainment Group and North American operator MGM Resorts International have been exploring the possibility of establishing casino resorts in Thailand, viewing it as a strategic move amidst uncertain developments in Macau.

Meanwhile, Genting Singapore also demonstrated its interest in bidding for Thailand’s gaming license earlier this year.

Previously, Deputy Finance Minister Julapun stated that the proposed entertainment complexes in specified zones across Thailand will not solely feature casinos but also encompass five-star hotels, dining establishments, and various other tourist attractions.

Thailand is already a significant magnet for tourists, with the country aiming to attract over 80 million foreign tourist arrivals by 2027. The tourism industry plays a vital role, contributing approximately 12 percent to the nation’s $500 billion economy.

According to Julapun, the rapidly expanding global entertainment industry is valued at approximately $13.7 trillion. He forecasts that the integrated entertainment venue sector will escalate from $1.5 trillion in 2022 to $2.2 trillion within four years. 

He also noted that Thailand stands to gain billions of dollars in taxes and tourism revenue if it effectively develops such facilities, drawing parallels with the successes of other Southeast Asian nations like Singapore, the Philippines, and Vietnam.

As reported by AGB, the Thai bill regarding the legalization of casinos has proposed a 17 percent casino tax, which is far lower than the Philippines’ levy of a 25 percent rate, while Macau imposes a rate of 40 percent.

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.