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Will Thailand Legalize Gambling Coming off of the COVID Pandemic?

Transcript of the above video:

As the title of this video suggests, we are discussing the prospect of legalization of gambling in Thailand. We have talked about this a fair bit the past year or so. It has come up and then it has faded away but a recent article brought it back to my attention.

This article is from the Bangkok Post,, the article is titled: Time to Rethink Future Growth Channels and it is primarily an interview with the former Finance Minister in Thailand and the head of the Kla party, Mr Korn Chatikavanij. Mr. Korn is very well respected in Thailand including by myself. Again he is former Finance Minister but he has got a real grasp in my opinion on especially the interplay between how government regulation impacts the business environment which can in turn impact the investment environment.

More to the point for this video is the following quote. There is a lot in this article, I urge those watching this video to check out this article. Quoting directly: "Mr. Korn has also urged the Government to legalize gambling in Thailand saying doing so will not only help contain the spread of COVID-19 in illegal gambling dens, but also provide more tax revenue and boost Investments." Quoting further: "Many countries use this policy to generate income. At least 100 billion worth of investments will flow into Thailand if the Government allows casino investments especially since Macau's contract will expire in 2 years. Hence, investors are now looking for new locations and Thailand has an advantage when it comes to investment climate and tourism spots. The Government should make a quick decision regarding this policy." That is quoting Mr. Korn.

Interesting take on it. As we have noted a great many times on this channel, we have discussed legalization of gambling, there are many pros associated with bringing gaming into a given jurisdiction. It can create a great deal of tax revenue; it can cause a real boom especially with respect to tourism. There are cons as I have noted in other videos. There are societal ills that can come about by legalization of gambling but at the same time there are societal ills that can come about by non-legalization of gambling so again that is really not within the purview of this video but it is worth mentioning. It is not all a rosy picture with respect to legalized gambling. I have worked in the gaming industry. I can say from personal experience, while it does create a great deal of jobs; it can create a real impetus for tourism; it definitely creates tax revenue; Governments do love it once it happens, but there are other things to look at with respect to this. 

Now that said, coming off 2021, especially post April 2021, I think that we should be looking at all possibilities out there for a recovery in terms of Tourism; to get tax rates back up; to get people back looking at Thailand to come here for travel and leisure. I definitely think it is something to explore and hopefully after some measured analysis and discernment, folks will come to a consensus on this that hopefully benefits the maximum number of people here in Thailand.