Thai Prime Minister Approves Governmental Study for First IR Development in Thailand

A gaming development study, commissioned by a special Committee of the Thailand’s House of Representatives to assess land-based casino development opportunities in the country, recently cleared the House and is now headed for the cabinet of Prime Minister. As reported by Thailand Times, the study was endorsed by the Prime Minister’s cabinet on April 9, 2024, ma 7BALL CC rking the first step towards the development of several entertainment resorts in the country. According to a recent note from Maybank Investment Bank, the Prime Minister’s approval may pave the way for Thailand‘s first integrated resort to open as early as 2029.

Prime Minister’s Approval:

The approval of the gaming development study has already been assigned to the Ministry of Finance for execution. As reported by Bangkok Post, such an execution includes a feasibility study on the basis of the special House Committee assessment. The Ministry of Finance is expected to evaluate the financial portion of the entertainment complex project and serve the investment feasibility study to the cabinet and the House within 30 days, as the source reports.

Investment Feasibility Study:

If the study commissioned by the Ministry of Finance proves integrated resort developments feasible, the next step for Thai lawmakers would include a call for bids for casino developments in 15 locations in four economic corridors designated as suitable for casino development locations in the initial study. As for the Ministry’s feasibility study, Maybank suggests that the government introduce four investment tiers to determine the level of investment for each location eligible to host integrated resort development.

Contractor Selection Process:

According to a Maybank analyst, the expected governmental call for bids would thus select the largest casino resort for the first land-based casino license in Thailand. Other facilities would reportedly follow according to the investment level to mandatory stay above or in line with the lower investment limit set at $2.7 billion. If any of the bidders secures regulatory approvals by the end of 2024, Maybank anticipates that the first Thailand’s casino resort could open in 2029.

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Looking for 2029 Launch:

The bank has recently noted that the 2029 launch would see the Southeast Asian country realizing legal casino gaming ahead of Japan where MGM Resorts International’s $10 billion IR development in Osaka has been scheduled for completion in 2030. The Thai IR would also make a significant impact on national economy to particularly boost the country’s tourism and leisure sectors.

In this respect, Deputy Government Spokeswoman, Kenika Ounjit, said the entertainment complex project is ”one of the key elements in the government’s ‘fun economy’ sector, which includes tourism, sports, entertainment venues and MICE (Meetings, Incentives, Conferences and Exhibitions) businesses”, according to Bangkok Post. The same source reported that Ounjit considers the steady growth of the sector already beneficial for the country’s economy.