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Reformed gambler MP says legalized casino can be sorted "within the life of this government"


webfact
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Picture: Sanook

 

A Bangkok MP who has admitted to once almost losing everything because of gambling has said that a legal casino could become a reality within the lifespan of the current government. 

 

And, controversially, he has said that on this issue MPs cannot be bought. 

 

Palang Pracharath Party MP Sira Jenjakha was speaking to Sanook less than a week since the latest debate on the issue was discussed in parliament.

 

Sira said that in the past he was always opposed to casinos, legal or otherwise. 

 

From personal experience he nearly lost everything from money to his family because of gambling addiction and he didn't want the same fate to befall others in society.

 

But now seeing the opinions of friends who are MPs and cross party consensus on opening a casino he has changed his mind.

 

He wants to figure as part of a commission to look into the issue so that he can offer the benefit of his experience. 

 

He said that the first step is to ensure that initially the casino is only open to foreigners. Thais would only be allowed to work there. 

 

It would pull in investment and tourists. 

 

He said that if different sides of the political divide work together they can overcome the camp that speaks of ills for society. He said that it could be done quickly if that consensus was the case.

 

Certainly within the life of this parliament.

 

He claimed that on this issue MPs would not give into the temptation to be corrupt "for sure".

 

The issue of a legal casino has been debated in Thailand for decades. Some of the issues were raised by ASEAN NOW's Sunday columnist Rooster this week. 

 

He has called a legal casino "the hottest of hot political potatoes" in a country where hundreds of illegal gambling operations operate in almost plain sight with the connivance of allegedly corrupt police and allegedly even politicians. 

 

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He claimed that on this issue MPs would not give into the temptation to be corrupt "for sure".

 

Ok, I want to believe that in this case. The main thing is that this remains an exception for this one case, "for sure" .

Incredible.

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3 hours ago, webfact said:

From personal experience he nearly lost everything from money to his family because of gambling addiction and he didn't want the same fate to befall others in society.

A very logical position to take

 

3 hours ago, webfact said:

But now seeing the opinions of friends who are MPs and cross party consensus on opening a casino he has changed his mind.

Whereas it is just utterly crass idiocy to expect anyone to believe that rubbish

 

3 hours ago, webfact said:

he has said that on this issue MPs cannot be bought. 

though nowhere near as unbelievable as this. 

Edited by Bluespunk
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4 hours ago, webfact said:

He said that the first step is to ensure that initially the casino is only open to foreigners. Thais would only be allowed to work there. 

In other words, the illegal casinos will not be affected in the slightest and it will be business as usual for the untouchables that run them. I just love this country. They don't even try to hide the corruption.

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I was under the impression that gamb!ing, as an addiction, was never reformable. You just went from day to day, like an alcoholic, but it appears I'm wrong. Medical interventions exists, apparently, along with behavioural therapy.

 

Who knew? Sounds like I could get a job, if only I was allowed to work...

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4 hours ago, tingtongfarang said:

Why are thais addicted to gambling? maybe its a problem for asians as a whole, was shocked to see the amount of people in the jockey club in hk

So, everyone that is drinking in a bar is an alcoholic?

Many people gamble for fun and can walk away those are not "addicted".

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41 minutes ago, bkk6060 said:

So, everyone that is drinking in a bar is an alcoholic?

Many people gamble for fun and can walk away those are not "addicted".

The individual himself has got to understand the ' act of' action and its 'outcomes- to oneself and the people who matter to oneself' The mass public is well-learned already this very modern year 2021. My view on the Malaysian side is blurred recently due to sightings of individuals in religious gatherings lamenting on the mere word 'gamble'. Gamble as my understanding and knowledge is self sustained ir may be a Challenge Invitation to one other individual. Thus should be a private affair between the both only. Gaming is generally oneself playing game/s 

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Why not spin the double-standards and xenophobia the other way this time: Legal casinos in Thailand but only foreigners allowed to play inside

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10 hours ago, webfact said:

in a country where hundreds of illegal gambling operations operate in almost plain sight

On my soi, there are 2 gambling shops totally in sight. They are, of course, owned by senior police. 

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1 hour ago, CLW said:

Why not spin the double-standards and xenophobia the other way this time: Legal casinos in Thailand but only foreigners allowed to play inside

That would be a great idea. Then the foreigner stands casually in the casino with his mobile phone and takes the stakes and orders over the phone from the Thais, who are not allowed to come in. Also a good idea for the promotion of tourism. But if the profit is not guaranteed to be distributed fairly among the Thai population (money for schools, hospitals, poverty pensioners, etc.) I am against it.

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11 hours ago, tingtongfarang said:

Why are thais addicted to gambling? maybe its a problem for asians as a whole, was shocked to see the amount of people in the jockey club in hk

Where I live we have a legal big casino including 5 star hotel and I guess 90% of gamblers are Asians

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4 hours ago, aussienam said:

I don't agree with the legalizing casino argument.  All it does is industrialize and condone gambling with the vast majority of money being funneled in being proceeds of illicit means.  It will bring in a hell of a lot more dirty money and along with it criminal entities.  

No casino is squeaky clean.  Even in Australia where I am from, revelations have been revealed of knowingly facilitating and encouraging large scale money launderers - in both casino groups.  

Thailand with a severe lacking of corruption control and does not have the ability to conduct proper law enforcement.  So many things can go wrong here IMO.   

This will make a lot of officials and casino CEOs filthy rich, but do very little to nothing for most Thais.  

It will change the demographics of the special economic zones set up for this (I can see Pattaya being eyed off for a likely zoned area). 

Sihanoukville is a an example of what will likely occur - Chinese backed casinos and infrastructure geared at high end spenders.  Local Thais pushed out and any other foreigner definitely not welcome.  

Asian culture seems to love relying a lot on 'luck' and although there are many underground gambling dens, it at least does not equate to being on a grand scale. 

Gambling addictions, I fear will rise and casinos know how to lure repeat gamblers back.  Bankruptcies, poverty and everything else stemming from debt issues (loan shark and debt collector threats/violence, relationship breakups/violence, kidnappings, murders, extortion, increased burglaries and other property /fraud related crimes from addicts).  

COVID has allowed a prime opportunity to make the move.  I think the writing is on the wall that casinos are coming.  Others may disagree and quote past discussions about this being canned.  But COVID wasn't around then.  

Very good analysis.

That's exactly what I'm afraid of. A few of the super vips with the corresponding connections greedily stuff the money into their own throats. The Thai people will go empty-handed.

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Yes in B.C. Canada there is a Casino that is known for laundering money It was

featured on a CBC doc show, and there has been a raid or 2 by the police, but the casino is still

operating, as the B.C. government is making lots of money as well.  Lots of the rich ThaIs can

afford to go to Singapore, or Macau and gamble away a weekend, it is the regular Thai people

  who mostly get caught gambling illegally, and that is just sad.

  `

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14 hours ago, bkk6060 said:

So, everyone that is drinking in a bar is an alcoholic?

Many people gamble for fun and can walk away those are not "addicted".

There was a when i time in my life when i used to fly from bkk to macau because it was the cheapest way to hk, the ferry macau hk was free if you showed the receipt for buying chips to gamble with, i would just cash them in after a few minutes to take the ferry free ( i think they assumed you lost all your money) seemed the whole casino was a sea of yellow shirted thais around the tables,

As for the jockey club in hk i used it as a short cut as it had 2 doors, i noticed it was mostly the same people each day gambling.... i assume they are addicted.

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19 hours ago, webfact said:

And, controversially, he has said that on this issue MPs cannot be bought. 

Now that is controversial.  I for one disagree with this opinion.  If politicians are willing to pay 500 for a vote, they'll want a return on their money.

'"within the life of this government" - there is no (human) life in this Government, only leeches.

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19 hours ago, bkk6060 said:

So, everyone that is drinking in a bar is an alcoholic?

Many people gamble for fun and can walk away those are not "addicted".

They are because in the long term gamblers always loose yet knowing this they continue to do the same thing again and again hoping for a different outcome

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On 12/1/2021 at 4:29 PM, Bluespunk said:

A very logical position to take

Yep, apparently based on private experience. Not on the small percentage of gambling addiction that is a world known fact.

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