Study says Thais back casinos legalisation

General opinion in Thailand is that casinos would enable the government to earn taxes, generate tourism income and create jobs.

Thailand.- An study conducted by academic Krisada Phornprapha, showed that most survey respondents support casino legalisation as they perceive it would generate government revenue and job creation, whilst at the same time it would reduce the number of Thais who cross borders to gamble in neighbouring countries.

After learning the results, Krisada recommended that the government should go ahead with the legalisation process and ensure that income from casinos was spent to benefit society establishing a fund. The researcher stressed the fact that casinos’ income and expenses should be clear and transparent.

Other recommendations derived from the study included that the government should set criteria to screen visitors according to their age and income levels to reduce adverse social consequences and crime, ban state officials and politicians from gambling, require casino visitors to present their national identification cards and documents attesting to income level and tax payments in line with a minimum requirement for entering the gambling facilities and, finally, the government should collect a flat tax from each casino on a regular basis.

If the government promote the casinos and conduct a public relations campaign, people would understand that casino resorts also serve as entertainment and conference venues with other recreational areas, since gambling takes up only 25 percent of the space in any given resort, concludes the study.