Thailand’s First Casino Will Add 20 Million Tourist Arrivals and Boost Tourism, Hotel, and Retail Stocks

Prime Minister Srettha Thavisin presented a case regarding the consideration of a report on legalizing the entertainment complex that includes casinos or gambling establishments for approval by the Thai Parliament. He emphasized that the matter is not merely about casinos but about establishing the entertainment complex, bringing the informal economy to light, ensuring proper regulation, safety measures, and tax compliance.

As for some parties with different views on the topic, the PM noted that the matter must be assessed through Parliament as a representative of the people. It is believed that legalizing casinos could be a step towards eliminating illegal gambling. Additionally, if casinos are legalized, visitors would be required to abide by the established laws.

Julapun Amornvivat, Deputy Minister of Finance, stated on Friday that the government expects to pass a law that will legalize casinos during the current term.

Using Singapore as a model, the minister added that Thailand expects to earn more revenue than neighboring countries that operate casinos. More importantly, the government will use a ‘sin tax’ to subsidize social benefits.

Mr. Koraphat Vorachet, Head of Investment Strategy at Krungsri Capital Securities (KCS), stated that the introduction of the entertainment complex would increase Thailand’s annual tourist arrivals by 20 million, directly benefiting tourism stocks such as AOT.

Following tourism stocks, hotel stocks like ERW, CENTEL, and MINT, as well as airline stocks such as BA and AAV, are expected to benefit from the complex. Additionally, consumer companies like CPALL could also see positive outcomes.

The preliminary findings for the entertainment complex include the following key points:

  1. Suitable areas may include Bangkok or the Eastern Economic Corridor (EEC) within a 100-kilometer radius of the main airport.
  2. The size of the entertainment complex should range from 10-30 million square meters.
  3. The investment amount is estimated at 8.0 billion USD (approximately THB 280 billion).
  4. Construction is expected to take between 5-10 years.
  5. The complex would attract 20 million tourists per year.
  6. Annual tax revenue was estimated at 1.7-2.4 billion USD (approximately THB 59.5 – 84 billion).