Thailand polls released over the week showed that people disapprove legalizing casinos.
Prime Minister Prayut Chan-o-cha told the media to ask what people think about legalizing gambling and enabling the government to collect a tax on casinos.
The Bangkok University poll conducted from June 17-18 shows that out of 1,093 people aged 18 and over throughout the country, 58.5% said that they did not agree with the idea while 35.1 approved and 6.4% had no comment.
A Suan Dusit Poll during June 16-20 said that 45.1% of 1,363 respondents said they were against the proposal while 38.6% are supportive of legalizing casinos, saying that they would generate funds for projects and create jobs.
A Nida Poll during June 17-19 said that 55% of the 1,501 participants disagreed with the proposal due to the adverse effects of gambling while 37% who favored the proposal claimed that illegal gambling dens were already rampant and it would be better to regulate them.
Gambling addiction, debts, corruption and a rising crime rate were among the concerns of those voting ‘no.’
The proposal to legalize casinos has been introduced by a dozen members of the National Reform Council (NRC). Major Anan Vacharothai and 11 others came out in support of an idea to legalize casinos in the country, stemming the flow of revenue over Thailand’s borders, bolstering the economy, and providing jobs.
However, NRC Chairman Thienchay Kiranandana stated that the council has no plans to consider a proposal to legalize casinos in the country and that that the plan has not been presented to the full council for consideration.
Illegal and underground gambling activities flourish in Thailand. On Saturday, a team of police raided a condominium in Bangkok’s Klong Toey district whereas 26 gamblers—18 Thais and 8 foreigners—have been arrested.
Police found gamblers were playing poker and cards and seized two large poker tables, 25 decks of poker cards, chips worth 12 million baht or 23,000 baht in cash, and a book with a listing of customer’s account, income and expenses.
The gambling den staff members, Jatupol Wisutsaeng (caretaker) and Preeyanant Prasertsom (accountant), were also arrested.
According to Jatupol, the venue has a 100,000 baht a month rental fee and received 30,000 baht a day as fees from gamblers, and the operation turned over 600,000 to 1m baht a day.