Casinos area limited for new project venues
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Casinos area limited for new project venues

Gambling portion must not exceed 5%

Mr Julapun says a similar project in Singapore only allocated 3% of the area to gaming.
Mr Julapun says a similar project in Singapore only allocated 3% of the area to gaming.

The government's planned integrated entertainment complex development project will have a casino component of no more than 5% of the project area, says Deputy Finance Minister Julapun Amornvivat.

Mr Julapun reiterated the project not only includes gambling venues and hotels, but must also have other substantial investment components.

The gaming area must not exceed 5%, he said.

The proportions per complex will depend on the governmental entities involved in the project, said Mr Julapun.

Singapore has a similar entertainment complex scheme, and he said the law there stipulates the gaming area should not exceed 5% of the project area.

After the project in Singapore was completed, the gaming area constituted only 3%.

The cabinet, which acknowledged a study on the entertainment complex by a special House committee on April 9, tasked the Finance Ministry with evaluating the project's viability and studying the details of the development project, before presenting them back to the cabinet within one month, starting from the date the cabinet endorsed the study's findings.

Mr Julapun said given the extensive details of the project, the ministry requested a two-week extension for further study.

He said the ministry plans to convene with 16 relevant agencies to discuss project details, including the need for new legislation to regulate the project, determining the location of the entertainment complex, identifying responsible parties to determine a location, assessing positive and negative impacts of the project, and establishing a fund to mitigate the negative impacts.

The study conducted by the special House committee focused on three aspects.

First, the implications on economic, political, social, environmental, educational and cultural policies of having such a venue in Thailand.

Second, the business structure of the integrated entertainment venue and revenue collection for the state. This includes studying inter-related business structures of integrated entertainment venues, including tax collection, fees and various licences for such venues with casinos, and how to develop state revenue generation in various areas.

A casino tax should be implemented, with appropriate rates for tax and fees that may differ from the general tax rates currently in place, according to the study.

In addition, a fund should be created to mitigate the impacts of gambling and integrated entertainment venues, with revenue allocated to this fund from these venues and gambling businesses.

Finally, regarding the legality of such venues, a study should be conducted on the formats, methods, fundamental regulations and criteria for laws pertaining to entertainment venues, establishments and current gambling regulations.

This study should facilitate the development and modernisation of existing laws or the drafting of new legislation that aligns with the changing societal context and environment, noted the House report.

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