Thailand’s Songkhla province pushes for casino

Thailand’s Songkhla province pushes for casino

The government has been urged to allow a casino complex to revitalise tourism.

Thailand.- Songchai Mungprasithichai, president of the Songkhla Tourism Promotion Association, has urged the government to allow an integrated resort (IR) with a casino in the province to reinvigorate tourism and mitigate overreliance on Malaysian visitors. The initiative targets the Ban Dan Nok and Sadao checkpoint area.

Tourism growth in Songkhla is mainly concentrated in Hat Yai, with Ban Dan Nok being largely ignored by Malaysian visitors. Tourist numbers are inconsistent, with 90 per cent of foreign visitors coming from Malaysia during festivals. Mungprasithichai noted the success of casinos in nearby countries, such as Genting’s.

In March, Songkhla recorded tourism revenue of THB3.7bn (US$101.7m), ranking 10th among Thai provinces. Mungprasithichai said clear regulations were needed to screen local gamblers, such as setting a minimum individual income. He also suggested that local communities should have a say in whether casinos are allowed.

In April, the Thai cabinet gave the Finance Ministry a month to evaluate the feasibility of IRs. The Finance Ministry has requested a two-week extension. It planned to convene with 16 relevant agencies to discuss the project, including the need for new legislation, potential location s and to assess positive and negative impacts.

See also: Thailand: casino floors not to exceed 5% of potential IR space

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GAMBLING REGULATION integrated resorts land-based casino