MGM and Galaxy Entertainment Ready to Bet Big on Thailand’s Casino Market
The Changing Landscape of Casino Policy in Thailand
In a recent shift, Thailand’s government is placing new emphasis on modernizing its casino and legal sports betting policies. At the core of this push lies the potential creation of fully integrated Entertainment Complexes, venues that promise a medley of entertainment offerings alongside legal casinos. As Thailand sits at the heart of Southeast Asia, it already draws tens of millions of tourists annually. Consequently, liberalization in its casino sector could catapult the country into becoming a hotbed for global casino companies.
Global Casino Giants Eye Expansion
In an industry where market share is everything, MGM Resorts International and Galaxy Entertainment Group are among the first to show interest in expanding their operations into Thailand. According to Bloomberg, these casino behemoths are actively planning to tap into the Thai market, provided the government gives the green light to open free-standing casinos. This comes in the wake of China tightening its grip on Macau’s casino management to combat money laundering, causing operators to look elsewhere. Not just Thailand, but even the United Arab Emirates appears on the radar for potential investment by major casino firms.
What Makes Thailand a Fertile Ground
It’s no secret that Thailand is a jewel in the realm of global tourism. The country’s unique geographical location makes it a strategic choice for casino operators. Whether it’s Genting, Melco Resorts & Entertainment, or Wynn Resorts, the potential for fully integrated Entertainment Complexes in Thailand is vast. Apart from being a tourist magnet, the country’s suitability for such expansive complexes lies in its well-connected transportation network and heart-of-Southeast-Asia locale.
MGM Resorts International: A Global Player
MGM Resorts International is no rookie in the casino business. Boasting more than 29 locations across the United States and Macau, MGM operates some of the most renowned establishments like Bellagio, MGM Grand, ARIA, and Park MGM. The company’s foray into Thailand, should it happen, would undeniably bolster its global footprint and set a benchmark in the local market.
Legal Entertainment Complex: A Glimpse into the Future
So what would a legal Entertainment Complex look like in Thailand? Special Committees have studied possible locations including Bangkok, the Eastern Special Development Zone (EEC), and 22 main tourist provinces. The idea is to have a mix of online and offline casinos within these complexes, with stringent rules for licensing and age restrictions in place. Entering these venues won’t be exclusive to tourists; Thai citizens above the age of 21 will also have access, provided they meet certain financial criteria.
Legalizing Online Casinos: The Road Ahead
The move toward legalizing online gambling is gaining momentum. Reports suggest that legislation is under preparation to permit online gambling, complete with a comprehensive control mechanism, appropriate playing conditions, and penalties. It seems that the system will also be streamlined for accurate tax collection.
In a nutshell, Thailand’s unfolding casino policy could offer a lucrative playground for global casino giants. If everything falls into place, the country could very well redefine its entertainment landscape, attracting even more tourists and revenue streams in the years to come.