Posted on: March 28, 2022, 11:21h.
Last updated on: March 28, 2022, 01:14h.
Not surprisingly, the government committee spearheading the effort to potentially bring casino gaming to Thailand is pushing for the country’s first integrated resort to be located in the capital city of Bangkok.
The committee appears open to the idea of permitting more casino resorts in the country if the venue in Bangkok proves successful. A report in Thaiger indicates talks regarding bringing regulated gaming to the Southeast Asian country are still in the formative stages, and no official announcements have been made as of yet.
In an interview earlier this month with the Las Vegas Review-Journal, Goldstein said Sands had “interesting conversations” with a “major” Asian country, noting that multiple nations in the region have approached the operator over the years.
That prompted speculation among analysts that the country Goldstein is referring to is most likely Thailand, though neither Sands nor Thai officials have confirmed that.
Bangkok Makes Lots of Sense
Tourism is a major contributor to the Thai economy, and Bangkok leads that charge, underscoring the capitol’s allure for gaming operators.
In 2019, prior to the coronavirus pandemic, Bangkok lured 22.78 million visitors from around the world, displacing London and Paris atop Mastercard’s Global Destination Cities Index. That’s a statistic Las Vegas Sands is likely aware of, and one the casino giant finds compelling as it looks to diversify its Macau-heavy portfolio.
Additionally, Phuket and Pattaya ranked 14th and 15th, respectively, on the 2019 Global Destination Cities Index. That confirms Thailand is a favored spot for tourists, and that other areas of the country could eventually be credible homes to integrated resorts.
Thailand also offers casino operators plenty of diversity in terms of regions from where tourists arrive. In Macau, Sands and the other concessionaires are heavily dependent on arrivals from Hong Kong, mainland China, and Taiwan. Conversely, Thailand is heavily visited by Chinese, Indian, and Japanese travelers, among others from Asia, as well as by tourists from Australia, Russia, the UK, and the US.
Focus on Foreigners
It appears Thai officials want to mimic the template used by their counterparts in Singapore, where Sands runs Marina Bay Sands. Meaning they want to keep the focus on driving foreign visitors to a gaming venue while making it cumbersome for locals to gamble.
For Thai gamblers, they’d need to show their identity card, career information, source of income, financial status, saving account, statement, and financial credits. The casino complex would also have a minimum age limit and entry fee,” according to Thaiger.
Foreigners looking to gain entry into a regulated Thai casino will simply need to show their passports.