Las Vegas Sands eyes Thai casino, but faces uphill battle

Las Vegas Sands’ Chief Executive Officer, Sheldon Adelson, has offered to spend up to US$6.0 billion on a 450-room entertainment and casino complex in central Bangkok, but local support for casinos remains far from certain, even though senior figures have thrown their weight behind legalizing gambling in the Kingdom. The talks, in mid-June, were the latest efforts by Adelson’s Las Vegas Sands to break into the market, according to sources close to the situation. The plans were presented to senior Thai ministers, including Finance Minister, Sommai Phasee, who was at the centre of previous discussions with the U.S. gaming giant. Gambling is illegal in Thailand apart from through the state lottery and the Bangkok Turf Club, however, it remains extremely popular with numerous illegal gambling dens spread throughout the country. Thais are also frequent visitors to border casinos in neighbouring Cambodia and Laos where casinos are legal. According to a study reported...

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