Thailand Courts Glitzy Entertainment Districts, Eyes Boost in GDP and Tourism


The warm, balmy breeze of Southeast Asia could soon be fan to more than just the rustling leaves of palm trees and rushing waves of the azure Andaman Sea. A proposed entitledment district replete with glitzy casinos could be on the horizon for Thailand — a dynamic shift in the region’s traditionally conservative policy approach to betting.

Under the oversight of the country’s Ministry of Finance, an earnest study from The House of Representatives is currently under comprehensive review, signaling a possibility for the country to embrace a regulated casino culture. The Ministry is one of seventeen government bodies currently assessing the likelihood of this gambling-inspired entertainment paradigm inclusion within the nation’s borders.

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In dedication to the urgency of the matter, the Secretariat of the Cabinet has charged the Finance Ministry with an expedient one-month deadline to prepare a thorough report for cabinet consideration.

Thirteen other government bodies are weighing in on the matter, remarkably signifying the multidimensional nature of the venture. Including an array of disciplines from the Ministry of Tourism and Sports to agencies related to Education, Justice, Social Development and more gives credence to the comprehensive analysis required for such a monumental shift.

Earlier this year, a significant number of House officials voted in favor of the idea of establishing these entertainment districts across Thailand, sparking a powerful movement toward this dream becoming a reality.

Deputy Finance Minister Julapun Amornvivat and Prime Minister Srettha Thavisin have both conveyed positive sentiments toward this enterprise, hinting towards a possible policy development in the upcoming months.

Should an agreement be reached among the agencies, a policy committee – to be guided by Prime Minister Thavisin – will be formed to examine the economic implications and other related matters. Major global gaming corporations are undoubtedly monitoring Thailand’s progress with keen interest.

The establishment of these entertainment districts comes with inherent financial benefits. Each venue constructed would demand a substantial $2.75 billion capital pledge. Moreover, the advent of elaborate gaming houses within Thailand could prevent gambling-crazy Thais from venturing into the waging war zones of neighbouring Myanmar.

The House-approved study also proposes a proposed 17% tax rate, a figure that could be seen favorably by the international gaming industry. The report further indicates that the entertainment districts could boost the nation’s GDP by an impressive 1.16% per annum.

Amplified up by 52%, international tourism forecasts provide promising insights into a country starving for foreign visitation to drive their economy. Moreover, eight gaming licences could be up for stake in Thailand, provoking an alluring invitation for some of the biggest Asian and American gaming operators to join the bidding war.

Thailand’s next chapter could indeed be one set against a backdrop of glittering lights, roulette wheels, and entertainment districts that bring a whole new dimension to its globally renowned hospitality and exotic allure.