Thai politician proposes legalising online gambling to increase tax revenue

Mongkolkit Suksintharanon is pushing for the legalisation of gambling and proposing development of integrated resorts at key tourist destinations like Bangkok, Phuket, and Chiang Mai

The leader of the minority Thai Civilized Party, Mongkolkit Suksintharanon, says there is significant illegal foreign gambling websites running in Thailand - but Thailand gets no revenue from it - and legalising gambling could bring in about 5 to 6 billion baht a year in tax revenue. 

Thailand’s economy is highly dependent on its tourism and some say it won’t pick up again until international tourists are allowed back in the country. Mongkolkit says tax money from gambling can bring the economy back up again. 

“Since Thailand currently has insufficient income from tourism and Esports, the government should consider legalising what is illegal and bring tax into the country. This should be useful for the whole country."

“There are many online gambling websites running in foreign countries for Thai people. The websites were running legally while it was illegal for Thai gamblers to play. There is also no taxation charged for gamblers and the Revenue Department is still confused about the law since it is ambiguous.” Suksintharanon was cited as saying by a local newspaper. 

Weapon of math destruction at work in Thai politics | Prachatai EnglishHe said he wants to start a committee to research plans for so-called entertainment complexes or integrated resorts which would have a casino, hotel, theme park and other entertainment spots to be placed in popular areas like Bangkok, Phuket, Chiang Mai, PhitsanulokRayongUbon Ratchathani and Nakhon Ratchasima. 

Numerous politicians in Thailand have raised the idea of legalizing gambling in the country, given that with its many neighboring jurisdictions - a huge chunk of revenue is generated from this sector. However, the bills have not progressed through the legislative body. 

Analysts say Thailand would be one of the most sought after destinations in Asia for a casino licence given its already thriving tourism industry and strong infrastructure. 

About SiGMA Europe - Malta

SiGMA Group has announced the postponement of its Europe summit, which was planned to be held in Malta on 17-19 November 2020. The show will now open its doors early next year in February, running from the 16-18th, making it the first event to headline the 2021 gaming calendar.

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