In response to a proposal made by members of parliament from different parties, Thailand’s House of Representatives has formed a 60-member committee to investigate the possibility of constructing entertainment facilities, including casinos, to address the problem of illegal casinos and strengthen the country’s economy.
Pheu Thai’s Chiang Rai representative Thoedchart Chaipong, the Move Forward Party’s Nonthaburi representative Non Paisanlimcharoenkij, and the United Thai Nation Party’s Chatchawal Kong-udom all voted in favour of the resolution.
On Thursday, the House met under the direction of House Speaker Wan Muhamad Noor Matha to discuss the resolution, which would create a committee to look into the issue.
During the debate, numerous lawmakers spoke out in favour of the measure.
A member of the Move Forward Party’s list of legislators, Rangsiman Rome, voiced his approval but cautioned that the previous House of Representatives had also constituted a working group to investigate the casino issue.
A member of the opposition party reported hearing that a corporation in Tak province with ties to human trafficking and the illegal organ trade had been able to send a representative to speak before the committee.
Mr. Rangsiman stressed the importance of taking precautions against harmful influences.
The member of parliament for the Move Forward party has expressed the opinion that legalising casinos in Thailand will cause the closure of casinos operating across the border, hence increasing tax income and facilitating national growth.
Chatchawal, a member of the United Thai National Party, pointed out that the country was losing money because its citizens were going to neighbouring nations to gamble in casinos. Mr. Chatchawal claims he originally advocated legalising casinos 30 years ago, but his idea was met with strong opposition.
He advocated for the establishment of at least five major resort casinos across the country, one in each major region (North, South, East, West, and Central Plains).
Mr. Chatchawal argued that the construction of such complexes will relieve Thais of the need to travel to the volatile Middle East in search of work.
After the debate, Mr. Wan appointed a 60-person committee to investigate the proliferation of entertainment facilities, and no lawmaker raised any objections. The committee has three months to finish its assignment.
The parliament, which Mr. Wan said had been open since July 3, would end its first session on October 30.
The House meeting was adjourned at 8:50 p.m. on October 31 after a royal decree was read to legislators declaring the end of the legislative session.
Meanwhile, on Friday, police in the Cambodian border town of Poi Pet announced that they had discovered the body of a Thai casino worker in a black bag placed in a well in a rice field.
Pol Com Roong Thongmon, chief of immigration police in adjacent Sa Kaeo province, has reported that Cambodian police have concluded that Thai nationals were responsible for the man’s killing.
Approximately 30 kilometres from the Thai border, in the vicinity of Koup Thom hamlet, local residents discovered the bag on Tuesday morning, he claimed, citing information from the Poi Pet police. They went to the Poi Pet police and reported it.
The locals reportedly informed authorities that two or three men who spoke Thai rode up on a motor-tricycle and tossed the bag into the well.
According to the eyewitnesses, they discovered a dead man inside the bag with no identification. The Poi Pet police brought the body to the hospital of the same name.
On Wednesday, the police chief of the Khlong Luek district, Pol Col. Pattanachai Pamornpiboon, and Pol Col. Roong crossed the border to investigate the body. An autopsy determined that the deceased was a 31-year-old Thai male named Padungkiat from the Chiang Saen area of Chiang Rai.
The man held down a job at a Poi Pet casino.
After speaking with the man’s relatives in Chiang Rai on Thursday, authorities learned that they planned to travel to Poi Pet the following day.
However, Cambodian authorities then told their Thai counterparts that the cremation will take place at a temple in Poi Pet on Thursday at 5 p.m., and the remains would be returned to the family. Every member of the family was in agreement.