Twenty representatives from smaller Thai political parties have submitted a draft amendment to the Gambling Act to Thailand’s parliamentary house.
Thailand.- A group of parties led by the Thai Local Power Party has suggested changes to Thailand’s Gambling Act to allow both land-based and online casinos. They propose allowing four casinos in Thailand’s busiest areas.
Chutchawan Kong-u-dom, leader of the Thai Local Power Party and his party members along with 20 representatives of smaller parties have submitted the draft amendment to House Speaker Chuan Leekpai through political working group member Pongsri Tarapoom.
Chutchawan said the draft amendment aimed to generate revenue amid an economic downturn and thus help reduce Thailand’s national debt.
Kovit Puangngam, a party list-MP of the Thai Local Power Party, said legalising online casinos would let authorities collect taxes from licencee holders and decide how to punish illegal casino operators.
Kovit said that under the proposals 90 per cent of tax revenue collected from licence holders, including their application fees, would fund state welfare initiatives. This would include debt relief in the agricultural sector, as well as student loans and occupational development. Kovit said the other 10 per cent will go to the Ministry of Finance.
He said Thailand could earn THB 1.5 trillion in revenue from tax collection and application fees from online casinos.
Thailand is one of the only three members of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations that are yet to legalise casinos. It is the home of some 70 million people and is the 20th most populated country in the world.