April 16, 2024 2 min read


Thailand’s Finance Ministry to Lead Study on Casino Legalizing

The Finance Ministry in Thailand will lead a House of Representatives study on the potential legalization of casino gambling in the country

Marking a groundbreaking move toward Thailand’s trials to address the highly-debated topic of gambling legalization, the Finance Ministry will take the lead on an important study exploring the potential legalization of casino gaming

16 Additional Agencies to Consider the Study

As ordered by way of an “urgent letter” sent by the Secretariat of the Cabinet at the start of the week, the Finance Ministry will thoroughly examine the House of Representatives study alongside 16 other agencies, which it will also lead. 

The list will include the National Economic and Social Development Council, the Office of the Council of State, the Royal Thai Police, and the National Office of Buddhism.

Several ministries will also be consulted, including Social Development and Human Security, Tourism and Sports, Justice, Agriculture and Cooperatives, Higher Education Science Research and Innovation, Transport, Culture, Labour, Public Health, Industry, and Education.

According to English-language outlet The Nation, the Secretariat of the Cabinet gave the Ministry 30 days to send its recommendations.

IAG reports say that the casino study received approval from the cabinet a week ago after the House passed it at the end of March. 

The casino study advises a 17% tax should be placed on gross gaming revenue. This would turn it into one of the lowest tax regimes in the area. 

Licenses would be valid for 20 years at first, with the possibility to renew them every five years. 

Locals would need to pay an entry levy of an amount that has yet to be determined. 

Larger casino complexes would require minimum investments of $2.7 billion.

Last week, when the cabinet endorsed the study, it also recommended a series of joint investments between private operators and the Thai government, similar to Macau’s concession model. 

The cabinet also suggested that integrated resorts should be located near international airports for the comfort of international visitors.

According to a note from Maybank, the country might see its first integrated resort open in 2029. 

This would translate to Thailand legalizing casino gaming before Japan where MGM Resorts International’s $10 billion integrated resort development in Osaka is expected to be completed in 2023.

At the start of April, Thailand announced it blocked over 25,000 online gambling platforms since October 2023, in an ongoing crackdown on unlicensed online gambling. 

After finishing her master's in publishing and writing, Melanie began her career as an online editor for a large gaming blog and has now transitioned over towards the iGaming industry. She helps to ensure that our news pieces are written to the highest standard possible under the guidance of senior management.

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