Thai King passing could have implications for gaming

The passing of Thailand’s King Bhumibol Adulyadej on Thursday will have implications both near and long term for the gaming industry, said Union Gaming.

“Over the near-term, we expect at least a month long period of very soft Thai-originated gaming volumes at several border casinos run by publicly traded operators. Over the long-term, a newly elected government under the new monarch, or perhaps a strengthened military government, could green light the holy grail of gaming expansion in Southeast Asia,” said the brokerage in a note on Friday.

Union Gaming also notes there will likely be near-term disruption at border casinos, as the mourning period means restricting entertainment activities for 30 days.

In regards to gaming expansion, the brokerage notes that it expects a “fairly long transition period (potentially more than a year)”, and expects “2018 to be the first practicable year that gaming expansion could be discussed.”