- Thailand pushing for casino legislation to boost tourism industry
- Thai poll shows over 50 percent oppose casino gambling
- Religious sentiment main reason for gambling opposition
The ruling government in Thailand will take note of the recent findings of a telephonic survey conducted by the National Institute of Development Administration (NIDA).
The NIDA survey was conducted between 6-8 December 2021 among 1,318 people over 18 years of age from diverse fields of employment and academia and showed that 56.83% of the Thai population disagrees with legalizing casinos and other kinds of gambling.
Religious Beliefs Could Influence Casino Legislation
Despite growing concerns about illegal casino dens in Thailand, over 93.70% of participants said that they had never visited a casino outlet; while 4.40% said that they had visited casinos while on foreign trips. A minuscule 0.91% confessed to having visited a casino in Thailand, and 0.08% were unsure if they had done so. When asked about their opinion on legalizing casinos and other gambling-related operations in their country, the majority of participants vehemently disapproved of the proposal.
Participants said that casinos were the key reason behind family conflicts, criminal activities, and debt problems. The reason behind people’s opposition to legalizing casinos is attributed to Thailand’s penchant as a Buddhist country. Though Buddhism approves of recreational gambling, it staunchly opposes an addiction to gambling activities and considers it highly immoral.
Contradicting the majority was a fraction of the population who agreed with the legalization. 21.25% of people opined that legalized casinos are a possible avenue for the country’s government to collect taxes. Moreover, they opined that legalized casino ventures in Thailand would prevent the population from seeking them abroad and could make matters more feasible.
Casino Gambling Could Boost Tourism
Participants also stated that since casinos were operating in Thailand already, they approved of legal casinos. The opinion seems to agree with Thai PM Prayut Chan-o-cha’s views. Chan-o-cha had earlier suggested the proposal in January 2021 to contain the number of illegal gambling outlets in the country. A total of 18.13% of people somewhat agreed with the proposal as they thought that legal casinos could help boost Thailand’s economy and aid the circulation of money in the country. However, 3.79% of participants did not offer any comment.
As for similar legislation for online gambling and betting on video games, as many as 68.51% of participants disagreed with legalizing either of the two. About 23.37% of people agreed to legalize both, while 2.28% only gave a thumbs-up to video games. Just 2.05% favored legalizing online gambling in Thailand, while the rest did not offer any comment or opinions on the same.