A number of minority political parties in Thailand has submitted a draft amendment to the country’s Gambling Act, with the aim of legalising land-based casinos and online gambling, reported on Thursday the Bangkok Post newspaper.
The idea is to raise public money at a time when the country’s economy – including a significant tourism sector – is still struggling to recover after the Covid-19 pandemic.
The legalisation move was led by the Thai Local Power Party. The political group is proposing a casino is authorised to operate in each of Thailand’s four regions, in provinces most-visited by tourists.
Such casinos might generate at least THB400 billion (about US$11.6 billion) to THB600 billion baht each year, claimed Kovit Puangngam, a party list-MP of the Thai Local Power Party.
In December, the Thai National Assembly set up sub-committees to look into the possibility of legalising casinos in that country.
Gambling other than on authorised horse races or government lotteries, has been prohibited since a statute called the Gambling Act 1935.
Revenue from tax collection and application fees for online casinos could generate about THB1.5 trillion, claimed Mr Kovit.
About 10 percent would go to the Ministry of Finance, with the remainder funding state welfare initiatives including debt relief in the agricultural sector, student loans, and occupational development, the Bangkok Post cited Mr Kovit as saying.
The draft amendment to the country’s Gambling Act covered verification of players, to ensure underage people could not access such services.
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