NATIONAL Reform Council chairman Thienchay Kiranandana has put the brakes on a proposal from NRC members to legalise a casino, saying the council had only 60 days left to work so it did not have time to consider a new proposal.
Thienchay dismissed newspaper reports that the proposal was an NRC resolution, saying the council had never been asked to consider the proposal. He said it was just personal opinions of a few members.
He said people who wanted to push the proposal should submit it to a new reform body after the NRC’s term ends.
NRC member Anan Vatcharatai led a group of 12 NRC members calling themselves “patriots” in pushing for a casino to be legalised. He said there were more than 12 NRC members who agreed with the proposal, as they believed it would help bring in additional income for the country. He believed Prime Minister Prayut Chan-o-cha would agree with the proposal if his group explained the economic benefits to him.
He said his group wanted to make the proposal an urgent project and become a reality during the Prayut government’s time in office. He said he did not take orders from anyone or gain any benefit from pushing the proposal. The country should give it a chance and if it turned out to have negative impacts, the casino licence could be revoked.
He said his group were not gamblers and had prepared information regarding the casino being legalised and ready for opening.
NRC Boonlert Kachayudhadej said many Thais go abroad to spend money at casinos. If the government allowed a casino to be established, the money would be circulated domestically and the government could earn extra income from tax. He said the economy was in distress and needed to seek loans for new projects. Legalising a casino would boost the national coffers.