Entertainment centres 'not just about gambling'
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Entertainment centres 'not just about gambling'

Deputy Finance Minister Julapun Amornvivat
Deputy Finance Minister Julapun Amornvivat

Investments of more than 100 billion baht are anticipated for every venue within the government's much-touted integrated entertainment complex development project.

According to Deputy Finance Minister Julapun Amornvivat, at next week's cabinet meeting in his capacity as the chairman of the ordinary committee of the House of Representatives, he will present the results of a study into entertainment complexes and casinos in Thailand.

If the cabinet approves the findings, he said it will instruct a government agency to be responsible for the project.

The draft legislation also needs to be submitted for vetting by parliament.

Mr Julapun said the legislation would permit gambling activities only within designated areas (on-site), while online gambling would not be allowed because the government is unable to control it, particularly in terms of preventing the involvement of minors.

According to Mr Julapun, for each venue at the planned entertainment complex which would require an investment of over 100 billion baht, the selection of construction sites should be at locations easily accessible by modern transportation systems, such as being connected by high-speed railways or airports.

Moreover, being an entertainment complex does not only mean a gambling venue, which is just a small component of such a project. The crucial aspect, he insists, is to incorporate other forms of entertainment such as hosting world-class concerts and establishing a Disneyland, which would create employment opportunities and hugely stimulate the economy.

"The idea of setting up casinos in Thailand is not new and the issue has been discussed for over 30 years," he said.

"However, it has not been feasible until now. If this government can proceed with it, we believe it will contribute significantly to economic growth both directly and indirectly. If actualised, strict regulations must be enforced, with clear locations to be designated. So far there is nothing clear about the project and all we have are the findings from studies and operations taken by other countries."

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