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Pattaya: Opinions divided on opening a casino - corruption remains hot topic


webfact

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Pattaya: Opinions divided on opening a casino - corruption remains hot topic
 
3pm.jpg
Pattaya: Casino to open?
Picture: Naew Na
 
Naew Na reporters headed to Pattaya to gauge opinions after a leading senator suggested one or two legal casinos could be opened in Thailand. 
 
Wanchai Sornsiri's suggestion that casinos could be opened in Pattaya and Hat Yai in the south has caused much debate. 
 
In addition the issue of opening legal casinos, never far from the surface in Thailand, has been thrust up close and central after the busts of several gambling dens and the involvement of police and corrupt officials in their operation amid the spread of Covid-19. 
 
In Pattaya Naew Na found one businessman opposed to the idea and one tourism leader broadly in favor.
 
Opposed was businessman Sinchai Wattanasatsathorn who said that the fundamentals in Thailand with its system of patronage and bribery up to the level of politicians was not conducive in bringing "grey areas into the light". 
 
He cited the example of the failure - over a ten year period - of any progress in moving the underground lottery online. 
 
If accomplishing such a measure had proved impossible it was clear that hurdles in the way of introducing a legal casino would prove insurmountable. 
 
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Picture: Naew Na
 
He had no confidence that those hurdles could be overcome. The climate of bribery and corruption in Thailand was just too embedded.
 
He doubted whether a legalized casino would have much effect on small time gamblers who would still bet illegally. He thought that it would be more beneficial if one was to open that it should be in a deprived area so that wealth could be spread, rather than a place like Pattaya.
 
Tourism and business association leader Ekkasit Ngamphichet was generally in favor of the idea for Pattaya. He looked at it more from the angle of promoting tourism.
 
He pointed to the success of countries in the region like Macao, Malaysia and Singapore in running casinos promoting tourism. 
 
Though he accepted there were pros and cons he thought that Thailand might be ready to embark on opening a legal casino after years of debate and opinion. 
 
He said that Singapore had waited until they were ready and Thailand was getting there. 
 
In regards to Pattaya the resort is an entertainment hub already with lots of top end accommodation and more could be built and a special gambling zon could be established, he pointed out. 
 
He claimed that any obstacles could be solved in Pattaya fast. 
 
He saw bribery and corruption as a national issue, not just related to Pattaya. He thought there would be economic and employment benefits for Pattaya and the Eastern Economic Corridor, a key government initiative.
 
Though he felt that public hearings to gauge opinion should be made before any decisions were made. 
 
Source: Naew Na
 
 
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19 minutes ago, webfact said:

 opinions after a leading senator suggested one or two legal casinos could be opened in Thailand. 

thailand will continue to insist gambling is illegal even tho the government-run lotteries bring in the most cash to the govt; they will legalize casinos and remain adamant that gambling is illegal;

the thai version of consistency

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Just get some state casino's without ever giving rights to private companies or people to exploit one. As far as i remember in the Netherlands only casinos operated by the state are ok.


They even have list with people who are not allowed to enter because of gambling addiction. If you put it in the state its hands and make sure that the profit goes to the state it will be ok. 

 

Giving licenses to private individuals is asking for trouble.

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4 hours ago, Captain Monday said:

Bring in the same listed companies who run it in Macao and Las Vegas with professional foreign management independently audited by outside firms. 

That's the right thing to do.....but, I would imagine ex high ranking cops would run them!

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GREAT IDEA ,,,,, NOT.

With household debt on the increase and causing so much misery  (Loan Sharks) — the 

temptation to gamble their way out of debt will be overwhelming (for some). 

"Well Padded" Brown Envelopes will be the deciding factor.

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7 hours ago, webfact said:

He had no confidence that those hurdles could be overcome. The climate of bribery and corruption in Thailand was just too embedded.

 

7 hours ago, webfact said:

He said that Singapore had waited until they were ready and Thailand was getting there. 

Thailand getting there  hey ,No chance.  It's just To Corrupt.

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7 hours ago, YetAnother said:

thailand will continue to insist gambling is illegal even tho the government-run lotteries bring in the most cash to the govt; they will legalize casinos and remain adamant that gambling is illegal;

the thai version of consistency

It's inconsistent alright but Thailand isn't unique in any respect compared to it's neighbors that have legalized gambling (several have done so only in recent years) in that these countries are every bit as corrupt, if not more so than Thailand. Examples include Cambodia and Vietnam.

 

Myanmar is unique in that gambling is officially banned, but due to the fact that militia groups control much of the territory along the country's frontier, they tend to permit casinos opened in their jurisdiction provided the casino pays them their share of taxes. Casinos are periodically closed, as happened in Mong Lar along the Chinese border, where they were banned in town but moved about 10km out away from the preying eyes of Chinese authorities. 

 

The Myanmar authorities apparently have no jurisdiction over border casinos such as the infamous Myawaddy Complex on the banks of the Moei river, a mere 50m away from Thai territory [Mae Sot]. It's run by a shady militiaman who could mobilize his men quite quickly if the police or God forbid, Burmese army ever decided to enter the casino without proper authorization.

 

In the rest of the country, anywhere under Burmese government jurisdiction casinos are strictly prohibited. However, like in Thailand, they're debating legalization. 

 

I see Thailand as possibly following the Vietnamese or even Cambodian model, but being more regulated. Even in Cambodia, casinos are limited to border areas with Laos, Thailand and Vietnam, and Sihanoukville. Phnom Penh allows only one, while gambling is banned altogether in Siem Reap and online gambling was recently banned nationwide too. 

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Legalization is the way to go and must happen. Keeping gambling illegal will only perpetuate the current problems and like it or not, illegal gambling dens are NOT going away.

 

I firmly believe Thailand will legalize gambling in some form in due course, and like the article states, I think it will at first be limited to one or two larger casinos in key tourist locations before expanding its scope to cover more types of gambling activities.

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24 minutes ago, Leaver said:

This is what Thailand's competition has built to cater for Chinese and western gamblers.

 

https://thegrandhotram.com/

 

Thailand is so slow to progress, it's going backwards.

Thailand will catch up. Vietnam only legalized casinos in 2017, but is moving ahead fast. All casinos except for one on Phu Quoc island are open only to foreigners though.

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4 minutes ago, TheFreqFlyer said:

Thailand will catch up. Vietnam only legalized casinos in 2017, but is moving ahead fast. All casinos except for one on Phu Quoc island are open only to foreigners though.

 

You are talking about a country that was devastated by war, and had their borders closed until around 1990, and now Thailand is trying to catch up to Vietnam, when Thailand profited immensely from the Vietnam War, over many years.

 

What does that say to you about Thailand, and investment?  

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9 hours ago, webfact said:

Pattaya: Casino to open?

from a humble sleepy fisherman's village to American GI's R&R hotspot, from there to a humble friendly family resort and now converting to a gambling mecca...

You've come a long way, baby! 

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9 hours ago, WildBillHiccup said:

GREAT IDEA ,,,,, NOT.

With household debt on the increase and causing so much misery  (Loan Sharks) — the 

temptation to gamble their way out of debt will be overwhelming (for some). 

"Well Padded" Brown Envelopes will be the deciding factor.

Your spot Wild Bill,   unfortunately a lot of Thais, mainly women are big gamblers, I know of many farang over the years that have lost there properties & assets (put in wife/gf name) that have been lost due to there partners gambling, 

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19 hours ago, Captain Monday said:

Bring in the same listed companies who run it in Macao and Las Vegas with professional foreign management independently audited by outside firms. 

Not a chance in hell of that happening... too many officials and influential people want the reins.

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6 minutes ago, madmen said:

Make it tourists only. China's will go crazy and let's face it, Pattaya needs some bling , currently it's 2 shopping malls and that's about it. 

 

 

There are more than 2 shopping Malls..... have you been here? 

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Might as well legalize prostitution at the same time. Gambling and prostitution are both illegal, but you can never stop it. Can get a Trump casino and bordello complex, he is not busy anymore. lol.

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16 hours ago, Leaver said:

 

You are talking about a country that was devastated by war, and had their borders closed until around 1990, and now Thailand is trying to catch up to Vietnam, when Thailand profited immensely from the Vietnam War, over many years.

 

What does that say to you about Thailand, and investment?  

Thailand isn't "catching up" to Vietnam except in a very limited number of areas. It's the other way round - Vietnam is fast catching up to Thailand.

 

The problem is some things like gambling legalization haven't been address for decades and are only now coming to the forefront. 

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5 hours ago, hotchilli said:

Not a chance in hell of that happening... too many officials and influential people want the reins.

It can happen. Same way Thailand is home to many international brands. Most likely way is with a joint partnership with CP for instance. They want to control as much as possible of the economy and have their hand in practically every type of economic activity these days. 

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9 hours ago, Soikhaonoiken said:

Your spot Wild Bill,   unfortunately a lot of Thais, mainly women are big gamblers, I know of many farang over the years that have lost there properties & assets (put in wife/gf name) that have been lost due to there partners gambling, 

Which could be due to their wives/gf gambling in dingy jungle casinos across the border in Cambodia and Myanmar. Legalization or not, casinos are here to stay in Thailand and will remain accessible to the masses, whether we're talking illegal dens, legal and semi-legal casinos in border areas of neighboring countries or hopefully eventually, a legal option inside the country. 

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Rumors of this happening have been around with and before the recent transition and it is very likely to happen with the expansion of the motorway from Bkk to Pty.

The chaos covid caused can be the ideal smoke and mirrors for the laws to change in the favor of a few very wealthy people getting their hands in the proverbial pie.

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