Thai govt. proposal to legalise gambling faces stiff opposition

Posted: Jan 19, 2021 17:50 Category: Asia , Regulatory , Posted by Maria Debrincat

Plans to legalise casinos in Thailand have been met with strong opposition from Stop Gambling Foundation

Thailand’s Prime Minister Prayut Chan-o-cha confirmed actioning plan to legalise gambling in order to ease the growing number of illegal dens as well as fight the financial crunch generated by COVID-19.

The controversial plan the government set, has been met with strong opposition from the Stop Gambling Foundation. The secretary of the SGF, Thanakorn Komkris, stated that although the plan to open up casinos aims to boost the state’s income, the impact of this, might very easily outweigh the benefits.

Thailand policeKomkris said “Legalising gambling is not straightforward, legal casinos need rigorous standards and require supervision and regulation. When a gambling den is brought in line with such standards, some people will be denied access. As a result, they will return to illegal venues. Thailand might end up having both legal and illegal gambling dens, which would be worse than now.”

Although Komkris believes that family problems might arise if gambling is legalised, others such as, Sanyakorn Singhaweratham, do not all agree with him.
Deputy spokesman of the Kla Party, disclosed that the social impacts of gambling will be reduced. He also went into the taxation benefits that this legalisation might bring about stating that “90% of gamblers in casinos in neighboring countries are Thais, and over 40 billion baht ($1.3 billion) flows out of Thailand to these casinos each year.”

There are currently three ASEAN nations where gambling is illegal, namely: Thailand, Indonesia and Brunei. Although gambling is illegal in these countries individuals still do so through illegal means.

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