Availability of land makes Phetchaburi a favourite for Thailand’s first legal casino

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Phetchaburi has become a surprising front runner as the possible location for Thailand’s first legal casino-entertainment complex.

Currently, Thailand’s lower house of parliament is weighing up proposals to open a casino-entertainment complex as a way to attract more foreign tourists, boost the economy and generate extra revenue for the government.

For decades, various Thai governments have been toying with the idea of legalising gambling, but the casino-entertainment complex proposal is arguably the most significant step towards legal gambling in Thailand.

In December last year, MPs overwhelmingly voted in favour of setting up a committee to review the proposal and look into the possibility of opening a casino in Thailand. The findings are set to be presented to the Cabinet for its consideration within the next month.

A number of locations are being considered for the casino entertainment complex, which would also include a motor racing track, theme park, world class hotels and shopping facilities.

Hua Hin was one of a number locations put forward as a possible location for the complex, along with Bangkok, Pattaya, Phuket and Chiang Mai.

An aerial view of farmland in Phetchaburi.
The availability of land in the province is in Phetchaburi’s favour as a possible location of Thailand’s first legal casino.

However, a report Wednesday (April 13) by Thai language news site Manager, revealed investors have been invited to give information to the sub committee, with Phuket, Pattaya and Phetchaburi put forward as locations.

While a final decision is some way off, the sub committee has been weighing up the pros and cons of each location.

In Phetchaburi’s favour is the availability of land, with the construction of the casino-entertainment complex said to require up to 500 rai, which is not readily available in Phuket or Pattaya.

According to Manager’s report, the fact that Phetchaburi is less popular with tourists compared to Phuket or Pattaya was not in its favour.

As well as studying possible locations, the sub committee has also explored other aspects associated with the construction of the casino-entertainment complex, such as revenue and tax collection and who should be allowed to use the complex.

Previously it had been proposed that only foreign tourists would be allowed to enter the complex.

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