Thailand’s first casino could open before MGM's Osaka Resort

Thailand’s first casino could open before MGM's Osaka Resort

Thailand's foray into the world of integrated casino resorts is quickly gaining momentum, as the House of Representatives recently approved legislation paving the way for gambling-friendly entertainment complexes. With an overwhelming majority of 253 out of 257 members of the House of Representatives voting in favor of the legislation, Thailand is now on the brink of ushering in a new era of gambling and hospitality.

Thailand’s Deputy Finance Minister, Julapun Amornvivat, made an announcement that a feasibility study for casinos could advance to the national government's cabinet, signaling a significant step forward in the legalization process. If the current momentum persists, Thailand could potentially launch its first gaming venue before MGM Resorts International's Osaka integrated casino resort, which is slated for a 2030 opening.

Meanwhile, analysts have predicted a timeline of two years to finalize regulatory frameworks and an additional three years for construction, implying a potential opening as early as 2029 for the country’s inaugural entertainment center. In the event that the national cabinet gives its approval for entertainment complexes, up to eight venues may be granted permission to operate, with casino gaming licenses likely to be awarded in phases.

The Southeast Asian nation’s allure as a premier tourist destination, coupled with its proficiency in regulatory efficiency, positions it to attract bids from major players in the gaming industry. Unlike the challenges faced by operators in Japan, Thailand's rationalized legalization process could facilitate a smoother entry into the market.

Furthermore, a number of analysts anticipate Thailand's casino framework to mirror that of Singapore. In simple words, Thailand’s casino framework will most probably be characterized by low tax rates and stringent social safeguards. With a proposed gaming tax rate of just around 17 per cent, the nation would boast one of the lowest casino tax rates in the region, alongside Cambodia. The anticipated twenty-year license terms, coupled with the possibility for renewals every five years, further incentivize operators eyeing the Thai market.

As Thailand has its sight set on embracing integrated casino resorts, the global gaming industry is observing with keen interest. With its strategic location, promising regulatory framework, and favorable tax rates, the Southeast Asian nation is poised to emerge as a formidable player in the realm of gaming and hospitality, attracting bids from industry leaders eager to seize the opportunities presented by its rapidly growing market potential.

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