National Police chief backs legal casinos


BANGKOK, 17 June 2015 – The National Police chief has voiced his personal support for legalizing casinos, as suggested by a group of National Reform Council (NRC) members.

Shrugging off a possible outcry from activists, National Police Chief Pol Gen Somyot Pumpanmuang said that gambling is a favorite pastime for many people, including Thais. He revealed that he would hold a press conference to make his position official one month before his retirement.

According to Pol Gen Somyot, the launch of legal casinos will enable other industries such as hotels and restaurants, tourism and service to enjoy higher revenue, thanks to the country’s geographical advantage compared to other destinations with legalized gambling. The National Police chief affirmed he would make his own website to seek the public’s opinions and suggestions on this issue.

As for the crime-prevention measures, Pol Gen Somyot suggested that all visitors be photographed and recorded in a database prior to entering a gambling establishment. To enhance income distribution, all casinos will be off limits to nearby residents. The National Police chief said part of income from legal casinos would be spent on development projects in various areas, such as education reform and social restructuring.