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Prime Minister Srettha Thavisin Proposes Legal Casinos and Nuclear Power to Boost Thailand’s Economy

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Prime Minister Srettha Thavisin made a significant splash during his first monthly television address, where he laid out ambitious plans to tackle some of Thailand’s most pressing issues. Foremost on his agenda was the controversial move to legalize casinos and the introduction of a nuclear power plant to reduce soaring electricity costs. In a prerecorded statement, Mr. Srettha emphasized the dual benefits of these initiatives—bringing illegal gambling under governmental regulation and lowering energy bills through more cost-effective power generation.

“We have to face the reality – underground gambling is rampant and should be addressed by bringing it into the light,” the Prime Minister remarked candidly. “Nuclear power, on the other hand, will require careful public education since many are wary of having such a plant in their neighborhoods.”

The notion of legalizing casinos isn’t entirely new. In March, a majority of the 500-member House of Representatives supported a comprehensive study by a panel of lawmakers, which recommended the establishment of legalized casinos within large entertainment venues. The idea is to attract high-spending tourists, with projections estimating that these integrated entertainment complexes could generate around 12 billion baht (approximately US$327 million) in tax revenue within the first year of operations.

Deputy Finance Minister Julapun Amornvivat announced that the Finance Ministry plans to propose a draft bill to the cabinet within the next three to four weeks. “We have gathered input from 16 related agencies, and all have concurred that casino complexes will bolster the nation’s economic growth,” he told the media.

While most forms of betting remain illegal in Thailand—a majority Buddhist society—legalizing casinos aligns with the country’s recent trend toward a more liberal approach to lawmaking, particularly in the wake of the devastating impact of the coronavirus pandemic on its tourism industry. In a bold move last year, Thailand became the first country in Asia to decriminalize cannabis, although it is now looking to restrict its recreational use. More recently, Thailand made headlines by becoming the first nation in Southeast Asia to legalize same-sex marriages, with the senate giving its nod of approval just last week.

Mr. Srettha also addressed Thailand’s urgent need to meet its net-zero carbon emission pledge, highlighting nuclear power as a crucial part of this strategy. He suggested that while the implementation may face initial resistance, its long-term benefits are undeniable.

The Prime Minister’s televised address stirred significant public interest and debate, capturing the complexities and challenges of these groundbreaking initiatives. As Thailand continues to navigate its way through economic recovery and social transformation, the coming months will be critical in determining the success of these bold policy moves.

For more information on Thailand’s exploration of small modular nuclear reactor technology, stay tuned to further updates.


  1. John Doe June 22, 2024

    Legalizing casinos is a terrible idea! It will just increase gambling addiction and crime rates.

    • Jane Smith June 22, 2024

      Not necessarily. If regulated properly, it could actually reduce illegal gambling activities.

      • Sam D June 22, 2024

        But think of all the social costs! Is tax revenue worth all the broken families and debts?

      • John Doe June 22, 2024

        Exactly, the social costs will outweigh any economic benefits. We need to find better solutions.

    • Mark Thomas June 22, 2024

      People will gamble whether it’s legal or not. At least legal casinos can be taxed and regulated.

      • John Doe June 22, 2024

        Tax revenue is no excuse to encourage harmful behavior!

        • Sophia June 22, 2024

          John, instead of banning things outright, why not educate people and offer support systems?

  2. EcoWarrior90 June 22, 2024

    Nuclear power is dangerous! What about the risk of accidents and radioactive waste?

    • Scientist_001 June 22, 2024

      Modern nuclear power is much safer than people think. With strict regulations, risks can be minimized.

      • Valerie J June 22, 2024

        But no energy source is perfectly safe. Isn’t renewable energy better?

      • EcoWarrior90 June 22, 2024

        I agree, wind and solar are much safer and should be our priority!

    • NeoTechnocrat June 22, 2024

      EcoWarrior90, do you realize that nuclear power emits no carbon? It’s essential for fighting climate change.

  3. PhuketLocal June 22, 2024

    I’m skeptical about this casino plan benefiting local communities. Big businesses usually take all the profits.

    • TourGuide7 June 22, 2024

      As someone who works in tourism, I think it could bring in more high-spending visitors who support local businesses.

    • Chris T June 22, 2024

      PhuketLocal has a point. How much of the casino revenue will actually go towards community development?

  4. Sarah Thompson June 22, 2024

    The economic benefits of legalized casinos seem undeniable! $327 million in tax revenue is a lot!

    • OldMan123 June 22, 2024

      Money isn’t everything. What about the social impact?

      • Sarah Thompson June 22, 2024

        True, but if managed correctly, we can mitigate the negative impacts. We need the revenue.

  5. HistoryBuff June 22, 2024

    Interesting how Thailand is becoming so progressive. First cannabis, then same-sex marriage, now casinos!

    • Lydia S June 22, 2024

      It’s refreshing to see a country moving towards more liberal policies. Hopefully, they continue on this path!

    • ConservativePat June 22, 2024

      It’s a slippery slope. We’re losing our traditional values!

  6. EnergyGuru June 22, 2024

    Nuclear power is undoubtedly the future. We can’t depend on fossil fuels forever.

    • GreenPeaceFan June 22, 2024

      But what about renewable energy? Solar and wind are the future, not nuclear!

    • Engineer404 June 22, 2024

      Solar and wind are great, but they aren’t reliable 24/7. Nuclear can fill that gap.

      • EnergyGuru June 22, 2024

        Exactly! We need a balanced mix of energy sources to ensure reliability and sustainability.

  7. BigGambler June 22, 2024

    Legal casinos? Count me in! This is going to be awesome!

    • GamerGuy June 22, 2024

      Haha, for sure! But let’s hope we don’t go broke!

    • FrugalMum June 22, 2024

      Be careful what you wish for. Gambling can ruin lives.

  8. Tom W June 22, 2024

    Finally, a leader who is willing to make bold moves to boost the economy! Kudos to Prime Minister Srettha!

    • CriticalThinker June 22, 2024

      Bold, sure. But are they the right moves? Only time will tell.

      • Tom W June 22, 2024

        I believe they are. Risks are necessary for big rewards.

  9. Whistleblower June 22, 2024

    How much of this is really going to benefit the Thai people, and how much is just to line politicians’ pockets?

  10. Susie Q June 22, 2024

    Legalizing casinos could make Thailand an even bigger tourist hotspot. Think about the potential!

    • BlueSky99 June 22, 2024

      True, but are we ready to handle the influx of tourists and the social challenges it brings?

  11. Realist123 June 22, 2024

    It’s naive to think there won’t be any negative side effects of these policies. Every decision has its drawbacks.

    • PositiveVibes June 22, 2024

      Sure, but negativity won’t get us anywhere. We need to focus on the potential benefits.

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