Most Thai oppose casino legalisation: poll

Most Thai oppose casino legalisation: poll

The interior of a large casino in Savannakhet, Laos, opposite Thailand's Mukdahan province. Many Thai people cross borders to neighbouring countries where casinos are legalised. (File photo: Pattarapong Chatpattarasill)
The interior of a large casino in Savannakhet, Laos, opposite Thailand's Mukdahan province. Many Thai people cross borders to neighbouring countries where casinos are legalised. (File photo: Pattarapong Chatpattarasill)

A majority of people do not agree with a proposal to legalise casinos and are of the opinion that other forms of gambling such as on video and online games should also remain against the law, according to the result of a survey conducted by the National Institute of Development Administration, or Nida Poll.

The poll was conducted by telephone interviews between Dec 6-8 with 1,318 people aged 18 and over of various levels of education and occupations throughout the country.

A huge majority - 93.70% - of the people polled said they had never visited a casino; 4.40% said they had done so while abroad; 0.91% said they had done so inside Thailand; and 0.08% were not sure.

Asked to how they felt about a proposal to legalise casinos, a majority - 56.83% - did not agree with it, saying that casinos caused family conflicts, debt problems and crime. Moreover, Thailand is a Buddhist country were where casinos should not be allowed to exist.

On the other side, 21.25% strongly agreed with the proposal, saying that if casinos were legal, the government would be able to collect taxes from them, Thai people would not have to travel abroad to gamble and there were casinos operating in the country anyway. A further 18.13% somewhat agreed,  reasoning that casinos could help spur the country's economy and allow money to circulate in the country.

The rest, 3.79%, had no comment or were not interested.

Asked about betting on video games and online gambling, 68.51% said neither should be legalised; 23.37% said both should be allowed; 2.28% said video games should be legalised; and 2.05% said online gambling should be permitted by law. The rest, 3.79%, had no comment.

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