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Updates on Possible Legalized Gambling in Thailand

Transcript of the above video:

As the title of this video suggests, we are discussing gambling in Thailand. We have recently done another video where we have talked about how in the aftermath of this latest wave if you will of COVID-19 that cropped up that seemed to be somewhat tied to elicit gambling dens here in Thailand, there seems to be for the first time in at least my recent memory, serious talk of legalization of gambling or gaming here in Thailand.

In a recent article from Thai Visa,, and they are quoting NNT, that is the National News Bureau of Thailand. The article is titled: PM Prayut: Committee Studies Positive Negative Aspects of Legalized Gambling. Quoting directly: "The Prime Minister said a committee has to study positive and negative aspects of legalized gambling. Another important issue is whether or not the public will accept it." Quoting further: "However the process of legalized small gambling dens remains uncertain. The Government will have to consider methods and means to address the problem in a sustainable way. Once it is solved, there are still other overlapping problems. The Government will have to consider them thoroughly so that Thailand is on par with other countries. There are many things that need to be adapted, General Prayut said. He is still undecided about legalizing gambling and the study committee is working on it." 

So again, still up in the air. My two cents on this. I have worked in the gaming industry. I went through law school working in the gaming industry. I do have some insights here. My personal opinion is I think you if are going to legalize gambling, take the approach of going broad; don't go narrow. Don't just have one venue that will have legalized gambling because you get all the downside which is the community issues; the issues associated with possible addiction; the problems of having gambling legal in a given jurisdiction without the concomitant benefits in my opinion. Where you spread it out, like smaller venues can have perhaps not the full casino license, the full gaming license where they can do all the things that perhaps a major large venue can do, but by allowing smaller gaming, it allows for smaller businesses to share a piece of the pie if you will if you are going to legalize gambling. That is my opinion just from personal experience. If you are going to do it, try to allow for many operators. For example, a lot of SMEs in the F&B business, food and beverage, bar, entertainment business here in Thailand, in the aftermath of this whole COVID situation we are coming off of, they are really going to be struggling. In fact we have read the numbers on this channel previously. Depending on what you read, there is between a million and 3 million people out of work in Thailand as a result of the problems in the tourism sector. My opinion, taking a broad based approach rather than again just having one venue, it only employees a limited number of people, it is only one place but you get all the downside. Addicted gamblers still go there. All of this, in my opinion if you are going to do it, and there are arguments against doing it, I am of two minds on gaming because I have been very close to it. I have seen the effects of it especially on an overall community. There are pros and cons and it needs to be weighed carefully but if one is going to in my opinion do it, you might as well do it broadly to allow it to benefit more people than it harms. That is the way I look at it is by allowing it to be more broad. Again, not everybody would have a casino. Maybe licensed card games in various venues or maybe you can have a slot machine in one location or a few slot machines in a location but you can't have card games,  or you have different kinds of licenses that would allow sort of a more broad and diverse sort of ecosystem in the gaming sphere. I think that is a better way to do it for the community because again while to me, the negatives are going to be there regardless, it doesn't matter if you have one venue or many venues, the pros, the benefits are spread out more so again the SMEs that have suffered tremendously under the response to COVID-19 in Thailand, they may be able to recoup something via licensure to be able to have certain games of chance on their premises.