Thailand’s casino plan could boost GDP growth to 4-5%: property developers


April 04, 2024

The government’s plan to open 20 casino entertainment complexes in tourist cities across the country could boost Thailand’s GDP to 4-5% per year, the Chonburi Real Estate Association said on Wednesday.

Legalising gambling has become a hot topic of debate after MPs last week approved a feasibility report on opening casino entertainment complexes.

Prime Minister Srettha Thavisin has also voiced support for legal casinos as a way to channel money away from underground gambling and into government coffers via taxation.

“Opening an entertainment complex, in whatever city, would attract an influx of businesses and workers to the area,” said association president Watthanaphol Pholchewin.

“The real estate industry would especially benefit from increased sales and expansion of projects in a radius of up to 10 kilometres from the complex.”

Watthanaphol estimated that each complex could create at least 30,000 new jobs for surrounding communities and attract investments worth several hundred billion baht in casinos, hotels, shopping malls, restaurants and related businesses, including seaport and airport expansion.

“With 20 entertainment complexes planned, Thailand could benefit from a revenue boost of several hundred billion baht per year, driving GDP expansion to 4-5% year on year,” he said.

Thai GDP grew just 1.9% last year while the Finance Ministry forecasts GDP expansion of 2.8% this year.

The association said it expected to see a Chonburi province casino open either in Pattaya or Sattahip, as the two cities are well-known for beach attractions, world-class entertainment venues, and good transport links.

It said casinos planned for cities like Chiang Mai should be built on the outskirts where space is available and they would attract visitors from nearby provinces. Potential locations in Chiang Mai include the Hang Dong and San Kamphaeng districts, said Watthanaphol.

Source: The Nation