Do We Need to Revisit the Pattaya Casinos Question?
Everyone recognizes that the idea of Pattaya Casinos is a contentious issue. For every person that sees the positive side, someone sees the introduction of gambling as strictly a negative.
The country has taken the official position that it would create more problems than it would solve. There are enough vocal naysayers in Thailand to create serious opposition to the idea. But are these people right?
Thai people gamble nonetheless. There is a state-run lottery. Money normally changes hands at every Muay Thai bout. Bets are placed on practically every foreign and domestic football match. And, illegal casinos are regularly raided by the police.
The Position against Pattaya Casinos
The anti-gambling crowd paints a picture of social decline as their main selling point against the idea of introducing casinos to the country. They talk about an increase in crime in the cities that would host the casinos.
They say that drawing gamblers in from overseas to Thailand’s many tourist destinations would drain the local economy as people would take their winnings with them when they left. And, they argue that families would be ruined by gambling family members who got in over their heads.
Betting on Casinos in Pattaya
Proponents of the gambling idea generally point to the increase in job opportunities and the rise in tourism as the deciding factors that legalising casinos would bring. They also feel that the increase in job opportunities mitigates the issue of local gamblers overspending their income. They see the growth in overall revenues and taxes as being the means to support greater social services by the government.
To a large degree, they’re absolutely correct. A study was undertaken in Macao and Singapore to explore the effects that gambling has on the local population.
The study found that by and large, the steep rise in revenues largely off-set people’s concerns. Yes, there was a rise in the negative aspects of gambling and casinos in particular, but the economic boost meant that governments had more resources to address these negative issues. Overall, people are happier that gambling has been allowed in their communities. So, maybe it’s time to revive the discussions about casinos and gambling in Thailand.