Soi Nana, a bustling nightlife hub in Bangkok, brims with a myriad of pubs and bars ready to cater to the night owls. An intriguing development is currently unfolding, with the Interior Ministry collaborating with several stakeholders to identify suitable locations for a pioneering initiative. The government has conceived a plan that would permit night entertainment venues to extend operational hours till 4 am.
This plan was initiated by Deputy Prime Minister and Interior Minister Anutin Charnvirakul after adhering to a novel regulation implemented by Prime Minister Srettha Thavisin. The proposed change stipulates an extension in the operating hours of night entertainment facilities from the current 2 am deadline till 4 am.
The identification of potential pilot locations is now under process, scheduled to be accomplished once all stakeholders, which include law enforcement authorities and entrepreneurs, set forth safety protocols and operational principles, relayed Anutin.
Upon being queried about the measures to be put in place for guaranteeing the safety of tourists, Anutin replied that the onus is on venue operators to rigorously scrutinize their patrons and actively collaborate with local authorities.
Adding his support for this change, Pol Gen Torsak Sukvimol, the national police chief, expressed readiness to provide the necessary aid for the smooth execution of the new regulation. He emphasized however that the specifics still require finalization. He shared that once the proposal for operating hour extension receives validation, it is imperative for all venues, inside and beyond pilot locations, to adhere strictly to the law.
Endorsing this initiative is Sanga Ruangwattanakul, the president of the Khao San Road Business Association. He concurs with the extension proposed for both alcohol sale and venue operation hours. Aligned with this, the association plans to organize a meeting in the forthcoming week with the objective of presenting an open letter to the Prime Minister. The intention behind this is to negotiate for an end to restrictions on alcohol-selling hours and a reconsideration of the current excise tax rate for entrepreneurs. They propose a feasible drop from the current 10% to a more manageable 3%. Ruangwattanakul reiterated that the excise tax that entrepreneurs are presently subjected to can be viewed as double taxation since the levy has already been imposed on manufacturers.