The proposed Hua Hin casino and issue of legalizing gambling in Thailand was debated by MPs on Thursday (Nov 25), with many coming out in favour of the plans.
Hua Hin has been put forward as one of the locations for Thailand’s first legal casino.
The issue of legalising gambling in Thailand is a controversial one and has been debated for decades.
However, the issue recently gained momentum following proposals put forward by prominent local businessman and government advisor Udorn Olsson.
Posting on his Facebook page, Khun Udorn recently revealed plans for a casino and entertainment complex to be built in Hua Hin. As well as a casino, the complex would also include a motor racing track, theme park, world class hotels and shopping facilities.
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On Thursday, the proposals for a legal casino in Thailand were debated among MPs in the House of Representatives.
Those who back the proposals say the complex will be a huge financial boon for Thailand, helping to attract even more revenue from tourists, as well as allowing the state to collect significant tax revenue from the project.
Hua Hin isn’t the only place being touted as a possible location for Thailand’s first legal casino, with Bangkok, Chonburi and Chiang Mai also said to be in the running.
Thursday’s debate heard a variety of proposals centered around why Thailand should now legalise gambling.
Most of the proposals centred around the vast sums of revenue that could be generated if Thailand were to legalise gambling.
Mr Pichet Chuamuang Phan, Pheu Thai Party MP for Chiang Rai, said the green light should be given for an entertainment complex to be opened in Bangkok.
The government would not need to invest any money because the project could be funded by the private sector and foreign investment, Mr Pichet said.
He added that only people aged over 21 would be allowed to gamble.
Mr. Somkiat Chaiwisutthikul from the Progressive Party joined calls for the complex to be built in Hua Hin.
Meanwhile, Mr. Mongkolkit Suksintharanon from the Thai Sriwilai Party offered an alternative viewpoint saying gambling should be legalised in Thailand in order to help the country of the illegal gambling and underground casinos which are widespread.
Mr. Mongkolkit claimed there were 50 underground casinos in Bangkok and at least two in each province in Thailand.
He said the illegal gambling sector in Thailand, which includes gambling websites, generates 100 billion baht in revenue.
An extraordinary committee will now be set up to discuss the matter further.