Pattaya City Councilor Sinchai Wattanasartsathorn, the former head of the Pattaya Business & Tourism Association, said it does not see any legal casinos in Thailand.
Pattaya business leaders disagree on whether opening legal casinos would alleviate the problem of illegal gambling in Thailand.
Sen. Wanchai Sornsiri, a longtime anti-graft activist and advocate of legalized gambling, has revived his 2017 proposal to open a casino or two in Pattaya or Huay Yai as a regulated alternative to underground gambling halls, which made a massive one last month in Rayong Triggered the coronavirus outbreak.
His argument – similar to one that has been repeatedly used to legalize prostitution – would be that if casinos were legalized they could be regulated, taxed and subjected to health and safety standards.
Proposals to open a casino in Pattaya have surfaced several times over the past 20 years but have gone nowhere in the face of religious and criminal opposition.
Pattaya City Councilor Sinchai Wattanasartsathorn, the former head of the Pattaya Business & Tourism Association, said he did not see any legal casinos in Thailand with a system of patronage and corruption that did not allow "gray area" businesses to operate transparently in the light . ”
Senator Wanchai Sornsiri, a longtime anti-graft activist and advocate of legalized gambling, has revived his 2017 proposal to open a casino or two in Pattaya or Hat Yai.
He pointed to the failed ten-year struggle to get the underground lottery online. If the government can't run a simple internet lottery, what chance is there that it can successfully regulate a full-fledged casino? He asked.
Sinchai also doubted that a legalized casino would have a big impact on small players who would still bet illegally.
If a casino were to open, it should not be in Pattaya but in a region where the casino's wealth could benefit poor people.
Current PBTA President Ekasit Ngampichet disagreed, saying a casino would be a boon to tourism in Pattaya, pointing to Macau, Malaysia and Singapore.
There are people who believe that casinos could revive Pattaya's tourism.
Ekasit admitted that legal gambling would have some drawbacks, saying Thailand is almost at the level at which a casino can competently monitor and regulate.
He admitted that corruption was a national problem, but believes that the economic and employment benefits of a casino would outweigh crime and other negative factors.
Pattaya is a world-class tourist city, but business leaders disagree on whether opening a legal casino would alleviate Thailand's illegal gambling problem.