Thailand: Mae Sot ready to host an integrated resort

Mae Sot could be one of the first city's to host a casino;
Mae Sot could be one of the first city's to host a casino;

A member of the Thai committee studying the feasibility of land-based and online casinos has said that the city of Mae Sot is ready to host an integrated resort with a casino.

Thailand.- Thepthai Senapong, a former Democrat MP for Nakhon Si Thammarat and a member of the committee that’s analysing the possibility of allowing integrated resorts with casinos in Thailand, has suggested that the city of Mae Sot could host an IR.

According to Bangkok Post, Senapong said Mae Sot’s infrastructure was ideal for the project as freight and immigration controls in the area had been improved. He also said some Mae Sot residents welcomed the proposal because the neighbouring area across the border had grown rapidly after Myanmar allowed Chinese investors to develop similar entertainment areas.

Thailand is one of only three member states of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations that has not yet legalised casinos. With a population of about 70 million, it is the 20th most populous country in the world.

The government committee had previously suggested that Bangkok may be most suitable first city to host a casino due to its proximity to airports, road connections and hotel infrastructure. Other possible locations suggested included popular tourist destinations near border provinces and immigration checkpoints.

In May, Kovit Puangngam, 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. According to him, Thailand could earn THB 1.5 trillion in revenue from tax collection and application fees from online casinos.

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GAMBLING REGULATION integrated resorts land-based casino