In South East Asia the main news coming out of the gaming industry is related to casino gambling in Thailand where surprisingly there is a small chance that the government may allow the province of Chonburi to issue land-based casino licenses.
Is Thailand Ready for Land-based casinos?
The Land of Smiles has long been against legalising casinos in the country which is one of many laws that confuse economists in a country where controlled gambling could work. For example, VIP Thai citizens and foreigners could gamble at the casinos and a limit of 10,000 baht can be put on other Thai citizens that want to register their name and gamble in a land-based establishment.
In the Philippines, a similar system is in place and it works well. Plus, Thailand would not legalise gambling across the country, but in just 1 province, Chonburi, which could ultimately become a gambling state much like Nevada or New Jersey in the USA. It would give the government a welcome tax base, and with the latest pandemic, plenty of tax revenue is something Thailand’s fiscal budget is going to be in dire need of.
On top of this, this would put an end to billions of baht flowing out of the country into Cambodia and Myanmar casinos. The money would stay within Thai borders and the casinos would pay tax on that on that money – it’s a win-win situation, and with correct regulations in place, the system really could work.
Right now, online gambling is incredibly popular in Thailand! The xo slot industry online is booming. Video slots with large jackpot pay outs are incredibly popular, and with Playtech jackpot networks also available in Thailand mobile app casinos played using THB, there are progressive jackpots that pay out millions of baht!
The very same slot titles can easily come into casinos and attract a class of casino player that enjoys playing low stakes casino games. As long a membership card with a limit on it is topped up with cash at a casino cahier point, the risk of problem gambling is very low. The member can use the card to play slot games or buy casino chips for table games. If the member exceed the limit of 10,000 baht for the week or month, that person is not able to gamble at the casino until the next month.
Obviously, such a system would need to take into account player winnings. Therefore, a 10,000-baht limit would apply to the amount of cash the player can put onto the card in a month. All the while the player wins chips and cash from the slots, the player can continue.
The tax these xo slots can make for the government will clear a lot of the Covid-19 damage to the current tax base in Chonburi while the casinos will also be contributing to the country’s overall fiscal budget.
If Thailand does legalise land-based casinos, then the next step would inevitably be how to legalise sports betting. After this online sports betting and casinos. Singapore is already taking steps legalise online gambling and the PAGCOR in Philippines VIP online gambling has already been approved and is in full swing. Could Thailand be on the same path?