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Phuket Vice Governor dodges Phuket Town nightlife late-closing kerfuffle

PHUKET: Phuket Vice Governor Snith Sriwihok has confirmed that the legal closing time for entertainment venues outside of the entertainment zones in Patong and Karon is midnight, despite an open admission from local nightlife venue operators last week that they continued to trade until 1am.

By The Phuket News

Tuesday 8 August 2017, 07:17PM

Phuket Vice Governor Snith Sriwihok (in black shirt) receives the request for nightlife venues to stay open later in Muang District last Wednesday (Aug 2). Photo: PR Dept

Phuket Vice Governor Snith Sriwihok (in black shirt) receives the request for nightlife venues to stay open later in Muang District last Wednesday (Aug 2). Photo: PR Dept

The oddity presented itself when a group of nightlife venue operators from throughout Muang District – encompassing Phuket Town, Chalong, Rawai, Kata and Karon – submitted a petition addressed to Phuket Governor Norraphat Plodthong last Wednesday (Aug 2).

The petition called for the government to “extend” nightlife trading hours “from 1am to 3:30am”.

The petition was submitted by Jirayus Songyod on behalf of the entertainment operators.

With Gov Norraphat not available last Wednesday, V/Gov Sanit received the petition on the Governor’s behalf.

V/Gov Sanit told The Phuket News today (Aug 8), “A petition is a petition. In the petition they wrote that they wanted to move the (closing) time from 1am, but according to the law the closing time is midnight.

“However, some places close at midnight, some places close at 1am,” said V/Gov Sanit, without elaborating why this was the case.

In submitting the petition, former Pheu Thai Party candidate Mr Jirayus said, “Now we are getting into trouble as the entertainment closing time is 1am by law. The income we receive is not enough for the expenses.

“So we want to extend the closing time to 3:30am as Phuket is a tourist province. Most revellers are coming to the nightclubs at about 11pm or midnight. If the nightclub closes at 1am, we will have only one hour of service,” Mr Jirayus added.

In receiving the request, V/Gov Sanit noted, “The letter (sic) will be forwarded to Governor Norraphat Plodthong. The entertainment venue time closing extension has already been requested. The provincial office has already sent the request to offices that are taking responsibility for this.

“However, for now, the law must be followed the same as throughout the rest of the country. In the past there has been news about entertainment venues allowing children to enter nightclubs, drugs involvement and human trafficking, and so on.

“Local government offices must strictly keep an eye on these three issues, so the provincial office must strictly enforce the closing time,” he said.

The request filed last week followed a request from nightlife and bar owners in Patong in February, calling for the current closing time of 1am within the Patong entertainment zone to be extended to 4am. (See story here.)

Despite repeated attempts to solicit a response, The Phuket News has yet to be informed of any decision on that request.



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Christy Sweet | 09 August 2017 - 09:18:11

If later closing times are legalized, the payola dries up.  Do authorities believe everyone does not know this? How many millions are taken in each year and how far up the chain does it go?  The Governor earns no respect for his stance, but why would he care ? 

Island Man | 09 August 2017 - 08:50:13

When will Thailand break free of former Prime Minister Thaksin Shinawatra and his Minister of Interior Purachai Piemsomboon and the code of morals which they imposed?  It’s obvious from their actions that they themselves had no morals so why follow their lead?

Bentley | 08 August 2017 - 22:39:55

A closing time of midnight is pretty pathetic anywhere in the world, let alone a holiday destination. When I first came to Phuket the bars used to stay open all night. It is incredibly expensive to run a bar, so if you don't allow them to trade, they are going out of business, and the people on holiday will not return.

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