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Make online casinos legal, parties urge

BANGKOK: The leader of the Thai Local Power Party, Chutchawan Kong-u-dom, yesterday (May 18) led smaller parties in submitting a draft amendment to the Gambling Act allowing for the legalisation of casinos and online gambling.

By Bangkok Post

Thursday 19 May 2022, 08:16AM

Chutchawan Kong-u-dom. Photo: Bangkok Post

Chutchawan Kong-u-dom. Photo: Bangkok Post

Chutchawan, widely known as “Chat Taopoon”, and his party members along with 20 representatives of smaller parties submitted the draft amendment to House Speaker Chuan Leekpai through his political working group member Pongsri Tarapoom, reports the Bangkok Post.

He said the draft amendment aimed to legalise online casinos to generate revenue in the country amid the economic downturn.

Chutchawan said he is also setting his sights on online gambling and the duty-free business.

Kovit Puangngam, a party list-MP of the Thai Local Power Party, said legalisation of online casinos will enable authorities to collect taxes from the licence holders, as well as define punishments to impose on illegal casino operators.

Of tax revenue collected from licence holders including their application fees, 10% will be sent to the Ministry of Finance, while another 90% of taxes will fund state welfare initiatives including debt relief in the agricultural sector, student loans and occupational development, Kovit said.

The country is expected to earn revenue from tax collection and application fees for online casinos of about B1.5 trillion, which could help boost the nation’s coffers, Kovit said.

In addition, the party proposed to operate a casino in each of Thailand’s four regions in provinces most-visited by tourists, he said.

These casinos may help generate at least B400-600 billion each year, Kovit said.

Apart from casinos, the party also will propose legalising underground lotteries from which the country could earn at least B150bn each year, he said.

“The draft amendment to the Gambling Act to legalise casinos and underground lotteries is meant to generate income while the country faces massive national debt,” he said.

Kobboon Tangsawatdikun, deputy spokesman for the party, acknowledged that young people access online gambling domestically and internationally, which is a worry.

However, legalisation of online casinos will allow for data checks of online players, which also can help prevent crimes associated with gambling activities, he said.

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Kurt | 20 May 2022 - 10:19:12

We live in a different era now, that of international electronic/internet use. It is without borders. Government must realize if it is to much undemocratic regimental in forbidding things, people shruk their shoulders. They not 'fight the 'rulers' but go their own way online.

BigaAResort | 20 May 2022 - 08:04:08

the top brass did not get there cut so lets make it legal and get tax and license money instead,same can be done with prostitution , make them legal! in my catholic home country every street hooker pays income and  church tax  ,money is money, horst

Kurt | 19 May 2022 - 10:43:19

Mr Kovit said that Thailand faces massive national debts.  Really? Time for a reaction of the Minister of Finance how he thinks to turn that around.
It looks like almost every national lives here on his debts.  :-) 

Kurt | 19 May 2022 - 10:33:55

...Are probably owned by Thai! Thailand better revise her old dogmatic 'anti stand' as gambling will happen , legal or illegal. It's in the blood of people here. Government can't control that.  It can't even control the sales price of legal lottery tickets.

Kurt | 19 May 2022 - 10:27:41

Singapore did give up the 'no-casino' policy. It explores a fine casine on Sentosa Island and Government gain very well in earning taxes. The though was keep the money in own country instead let it go abroad as gambling will happen anyway. Wise and realistic thinking. Casino's just over the border in Thailand's neighbour countries float on Thai gamblers. Are probably owned by Thai!...

Fascinated | 19 May 2022 - 10:08:49

Create debt during an economic downturn- classic. The only people to benefit will be loan sharks whilst plunging the poor deeper into debt. No way can this be effectively monitored.

JohnC | 19 May 2022 - 08:55:51

[..to generate revenue in the country] No, to generate revenue for the government coffers is the true answer and generate more corruption. Everyone knows it will more likely bankrupt the gullible poor who will gamble their meagre salaries away every month believing in good luck. Gambling is already the cause of much misery and crime here so why encourage it by making it even easier to access.


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