Entertainment Centers ‘Not Just About Gambling,’ Says Julapun

Being an entertainment complex does not only mean it is a gambling venue, says Deputy Finance Minister Julapun Amornvivat.

All the venues within the government’s highly promoted integrated entertainment complex development project are expected to attract investments exceeding 100 billion baht.

Mr. Julapun plans to share the outcomes of a study on entertainment complexes and casinos in Thailand at the upcoming cabinet meeting, where he will act as the chairman of the ordinary committee of the House of Representatives.

He mentioned that if the cabinet approves these results, a specific government agency will be tasked with overseeing the project. Furthermore, the proposal for this initiative must be reviewed by parliament.

Mr. Julapun explained that the proposed law would restrict gambling to specific areas within the complex and exclude online gambling due to the government’s challenges in regulating it, especially in preventing underage participation.

Each venue within the proposed entertainment complex, requiring an investment exceeding 100 billion baht, should be strategically situated to ensure easy access through modern transportation systems, such as high-speed train connections or proximity to airports, said Mr. Julapun.

He further emphasizes that the essence of the entertainment complex goes beyond merely serving as a gambling venue, which constitutes only a minor part of the entire project.

Mr. Julapun insists on the importance of including a variety of entertainment options, such as organizing international concerts and creating a Disneyland. These additions are expected to create job opportunities and significantly boost economic growth.

“The idea of setting up casinos in Thailand is not new, and the issue has been discussed for over 30 years,” he said.

“However, it has not been feasible until now. If this government proceeds with it, we believe it will contribute significantly to economic growth both directly and indirectly.”

“If realized, strict regulations must be enforced, with clear locations designated. So far, there is nothing definite about the project, and all we have are findings from studies and operations taken by other countries,” Mr. Julapun concluded.