Posted on: June 14, 2022, 09:41h.
Last updated on: June 14, 2022, 03:13h.
The Thai government is considering the possibility of adding land-based and online casinos to its landscape. If it does, it may have decided on the perfect spot for the first property.
A Thai government committee reviewing the possibility of a casino complex has a target. It is considering the Mae Sot district of Tak Province as suitable for establishing the first legal casino in the country.
The province borders Myanmar to the west. This is part of the reason the committee selected Mae Sot, as it believes the presence of a legal casino there will reduce illegal gambling in the region.
Thepthai Senpong, a former member of parliament and one of the committee members, took a trip to the Mae Sot district recently. Upon his return, he announced that, according to reports from the provincial governor of Tak, the heads of local government departments, the president of the Chamber of Commerce, and the Tak Tourism Business Association, the district is on board the project to attract potential tourists.
Questions, Problems Remain
Before any progress can be made, the government must address several concerns.
The first is a land issue. Most of the land belongs to the Treasury Department and the state, so investors can’t buy the land. The land is not enough to build the complex, requiring at least 1,186 acres and as much as 1,976.
There are also potential labor problems. Migrant workers from neighboring countries come to work in Thailand. There is no labor shortage problem, but the government has to establish a center for the development of foreign workers and prepare skilled workers before approving them to enter the workforce in Thailand.
There’s also a money issue. There is a state tax proposal that the local government that hosts the resort should receive a percentage of the revenue because it owns most of the investment areas. As a result, Mae Sot would receive more tax privileges than other areas.
Lastly, there’s the barrier of public consent. As with any major project, especially the development of integrated resorts, there is polarity in the public’s opinion. The government must convince the local community that the project is worthwhile and meaningful.
Attacking from All Angles
Thepthai stated that some Mae Sot residents welcomed the proposal. They saw how rapidly the neighboring district across the border grew following the financial injection by Chinese investors in Myanmar a few years ago. Those investors helped develop an entertainment district that has become a popular regional hotspot.
The government committee established five sub-committees to examine the matter. The first panel is examining related laws, tax collection, and revenue collection. The second panel will look for potential locations and examine conditions for opening such complexes.
The third will address investment and the structure of the complex. The fourth will focus on the gaming industry, and the last will explore how to avoid any negative impacts.
The Extraordinary Committee will compile and finalize all the information mentioned in the reports before submitting new proposals to the House of Representatives and the government at an upcoming meeting.
There’s still another question that needs an answer as well. Everyone wants to know if Las Vegas Sands will have a role in the new property.