Posted on: March 13, 2024, 12:38h. 

Last updated on: March 13, 2024, 01:06h.

The possibility that Thailand will eventually be home to casino resorts is inching closer to reality amid speculation that a House of Representatives studying the issue could submit a report to parliament as soon as next week.

Thailand casino
The Grand Palace in Bangkok, Thailand. A House committee there is expected to soon unveil a study backing casinos. (Image: Tumblr)

It’s expected the committee will endorse the casino idea, which could pave the way for related legislation to be introduced. Unidentified, high-ranking Pheu Thai Party officials told The Bangkok Post the casino feasibility study is complete.

Should that study be adopted by the House of Representatives, it could be moved along and potentially implemented, if approved.

The committee, which was formed last October, was tasked with evaluating opportunities for boosting Thailand’s economy, including the possibility of entertainment and regulated gaming venues, as well as cracking down on illicit casinos.

‘Entertainment Complexes,’ Not Casinos

While Thailand lacks the gaming infrastructure seen in other nations in the Asia-Pacific region, including Macau, the Philippines, Singapore, and South Korea, the country is showing signs it’s increasingly open to the idea of integrated resorts.

However, some policymakers in the Southeast Asian nation, while bullish on the revenue-generating opportunity afforded by gaming venues, are clear to note casinos will be bit parts of broader entertainment complexes.

If this is realized, it could generate huge revenue for the country. What we emphasize is entertainment complexes. Casinos would be a small part of such complexes,” said Pheu Thai Party Secretary General Sorawong Thienthong in an interview with the Post.

He also led the committee studying the gaming issue. Rumors about Thailand potentially becoming a new Asia-Pacific casino hub aren’t new, but remain sensible. With its reputation for attracting Chinese and other tourists from the Asia-Pacific region, as well as scores of visitors from the West, Thailand could be the next great frontier in the region’s gaming scene if it decides to embrace integrated resorts.

Expect Thai Casino Bidding to Attract Big Names

It’s not clear when the Thai casino legislative process will commence, but it is unlikely any entertainment complex will be permitted in the capital city of Bangkok. As for possible locations for a Thai casino hotel, the popular Phuket region has been floated as a destination. Given the country’s reputation for attracting tourists, Bangkok being off the table is unlikely to deter gaming companies.

Should Thailand permit multiple entertainment complexes with casinos and unveil a competitive bidding process, some of the industry’s biggest names are likely to take part. It’s widely thought Genting Singapore would make a run at a Thai casino permit, and Las Vegas Sands has kicked around the idea.

With established footprints in Macau, Melco Resorts & Entertainment, MGM Resorts International, and Wynn Resorts could also be logical bidders if the Thai casino process evolves, but for now, that’s just speculation.

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