Thai finance minister shows support for casinos

Thai Finance Minister Sommai Phasee has weighed in on Thailand’s casino debate, saying if casinos were to be legalized they should be part of an “entertainment complex,” which would include other services such as shopping malls and conference facilities.

Local newspaper the Nation reported that Sommai said the casinos in Thailand would be better operated through the resort model which would have amenities to appeal to both leisure and business visitors. He said that a cover charge, the same that is present in Singapore, would ensure only those who can afford to gamble are allowed in the casino.

“I disagree with the idea of permitting casinos and gambling dens [everywhere],” he said, adding that It is better for the country to keep the money in the local economy rather than it being spent abroad.

Speaking in a radio interview, Sommai dismissed reports that he was arranging for executives of the US-based Las Vegas Sands Corp to meet with Prime Minister Prayut Chan-o-cha.