The legalization and development of gambling in Thailand are becoming more and more likely. Many politicians have participated in the development of amendments to Thai legislation. In accordance with these amendments, the legal operation of real and online casinos will be allowed.
According to local official media, among the political parties, The Thai Local Power Party is the leader in this work. In its bill, the party included the operation of casinos throughout Thailand.
It is assumed that real estate objects that are located in areas with high tourist traffic will be used in the gaming sphere. The launch of the gambling industry is planned to increase the country’s income and restore the Thai economy after the COVID-19 pandemic.
The need for legalization
There are several reasons for the legalization of casinos. Firstly, it is unemployment. Secondly, the need to increase the state budget. According to members of the Thai Local Power Party, taxation in this area can bring up to THB600 billion (up to $17.46 billion) to the Thai treasury annually.
According to the representatives of the party, if we take into account only online casinos, then the income may amount to THB1.5 trillion (US$43.7 billion) for Thailand. In addition to basic income, taxes and licensing fees are also included in this amount.
In 1935, a law was passed in Thailand prohibiting gambling. At the same time, the law did not apply to certain types of horse racing and state lotteries. However, in December 2021, Thailand’s National Assembly began exploring the possibilities of legalizing the gambling sector.
According to members of the Thai Local Power Party, it is assumed that the Ministry of Finance will receive one tenth of the total amount of taxes paid by gambling license holders. The remaining amount is assumed for social spending and agriculture.
In accordance with the draft amendments to the Gambling Law, all players must be checked for adulthood. Also, platforms operating without a license must be prosecuted.
Underground lotteries are another possible object of legalization. As a result of the relevant amendments to the legislation, more than THB150 billion (US$4.36 billion) may be received by the Thai budget by the end of the year.
The preliminary forecasts announced by the party would be wrong to call unattainable, but at the same time they are not the most realistic. Since there is no official information about gambling previously arranged in Thailand, it is quite difficult to make plans with a high degree of probability.
If the Thai parties are really working on the issue of legalizing gambling, then at least one of the major casino operators can assist them in this matter. Las Vegas Sands is showing interest in Asian countries, including Thailand.
Dynamics in the laws of Thailand
At the end of 2021, the first steps were taken in Thailand to launch the legal sphere of gambling. The result is the creation of a committee to decide on the possibility or impossibility of this launch. The event caused a contradictory reaction, while businessmen expressed support. After all, a legal gaming business will help to lift the Thai economy from its knees. Also, thanks to this, the level of attendance of Thailand by foreign tourists will increase.
At the same time, there are also those who disagree with these innovations, referring to the laws of morality and religion. Buddhism, which adheres to the majority of Thai residents, does not prohibit gambling, like other religions. However, most Thais see this as something reprehensible.
In addition to religious beliefs, the opinion was voiced that such actions could lead to a decrease in the social level in society. For those who share this point of view, the casino is also a symbol of financial crime.
Also, according to those who oppose gambling, it is difficult to develop management and taxation standards for the gambling industry. But you need to understand that visiting an officially registered casino is much safer than underground gambling.