New casino complex study ready
An extraordinary House committee studying a proposal to open a casino-entertainment complex will submit its findings when the House reconvenes next month, a committee member said.
The committee led by Deputy Transport Minister Atirat Ratanasate was set up late last year after Chutchawan Kong-u-dom, leader of the Thai Local Power Party, pushed for the relaxation of long-standing laws to get such a project off the ground and thus attract foreign visitors and make additional revenue for the government.
The committee comprised 60 members -- 15 representatives from the cabinet and 45 others from parties.
They explored revenue and tax collection from legalised casinos and measures to deal with illegal gambling dens and online gambling activities.
Former Democrat MP Thepthai Senpong said on Wednesday there has been much progress made and the committee was ready to propose the results to the House next month.
Mr Thepthai said the committee formed various subcommittees to study related laws as well as matters such as income tax collection, the ideal model and location of a casino-entertainment complex, and controlling who should be allowed to enter.
He did not go into details regarding committee findings. Nor is it known if the report provides an estimate of how much a complex could contribute to tax revenue or job creation.
He said he was also sitting on a sub-committee considering more locations for casino-entertainment complexes.
The sub-panel designated areas close to popular tourist sites to draw visitors into the complex.
He said some investors had been invited to give information to his sub-panel. They suggested that Phuket, Pattaya in Chon Buri and Phetchaburi would be among the best locations.
However, as far as Mr Thepthai was aware, the committee has not drawn any firm conclusion on that issue yet, only assessed the pros and cons of each of the various locations to present to the House.