Thai government to review casino size if country opts for IR

The gambling area of Thai casino resorts that can be built should not exceed “5%” of the total project area, Bangkok Post News reported on Monday, citing Thailand’s deputy finance minister, Hulappun Amonvivat.

The minister also said the game-to-game ratio within the “entertainment centre” as Thai lawmakers call it would rely on “government agencies” with input to the project.

The report did not clarify whether it was a reference to direct investment in projects by the public sector or to certain government departments that would have a say in policy and its possible implementation. Casino complexes with hotels, entertainment arenas and meeting spaces in other markets are commonly known as “integrated resorts” (IRs).

On Apr. 9, the Thai cabinet approved a parliamentary committee report on the feasibility of the country’s casino resorts, giving the finance ministry 30 days to study whether and how to implement the policy. According to the committee report, each venue will require a minimum investment of THB 100 billion ($2.75 billion).

In a media report on Monday, Julapun was quoted as saying his ministry had asked for a “two-week extension” of the study period.

He reiterated that the department will convene with 16 different government agencies to discuss details on the casino resort topic. These included laws on the regulation of casino resort complexes, the location of such resorts, the pros and cons of casino resort projects, and the establishment of “funds” to mitigate negative effects from such game resorts.

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