(BANGKOK) Thais’ love of gambling translates into an average monthly expenditure on the habit of up to 8 billion baht (S$320 million) in Bangkok alone, a survey released on Thursday found.
The survey from the Thai Farmers Bank found that expenditure on gambling – which is for the most part illegal in the kingdom – totals 10 to 18 per cent of gamblers’ combined incomes in this city of ten million.
The survey by the economic thinktank found that just under a quarter of the sample group of more than a thousand people had sunk into debt as a result of their gambling habit.
Of that group, some 14.4 per cent said they had thought of committing suicide to escape their indebtedness, while just over half said they had considered giving up gambling.
Aside from an official lottery and horse racing, Thailand’s conservative society has balked at legalising the lucrative industry.
However, Thais are among the biggest spenders in the region’s growing number of Keluaran Hk casinos, with mounting pressure from some quarters that licensed casinos be permitted.
Last month Deputy Prime Minister Chavalit Yongchaiyudh threw his weight behind plans to open casinos, saying a ban on such facilities has allowed underground gambling dens to flourish, with no financial gains for the state.
Meanwhile in January this year, officials said some 130 billion baht was being lost by Thais every year to casinos in Cambodia, Myanmar and Laos set up in towns just across the Thai order. – AFP
Haryana: HVP protests Casino bill
Former Chief Minister Bansi Lal led Haryana Vikas Party (HVP) today lashed out at the Om Prakash Chautala government alleging evil designs by the government in the proposed introduction of Casinos in the state.
“Chautala’s plea that Casinos are being set up in the state to augment state’s income seem to be shallow,” HVP Secretary General and former MP Surinder Singh said addressing a mammoth rally here.
Singh, who is son of Bansi Lal, said that the income of the Haryana government had already increased manifold on the account of levying of a variety of taxes on each section of the society.
Terming Casinos as “licenced gambling houses”, he said it was anybody’s guess that such Casinos would be a hefty drain on pockets of the poor.
“World’s biggest Casino of California in the USA had ruined lives of youth who use to visit there. More than 70 per cent of them had become drug addicts in the end,” he said.
Singh said that the HVP would not allow such a situation to develop in Haryana and do whatever possible to stall the establishment of Casinos.
Earlier, HVP activists took out a procession through the main market which culminated into a big rally on the premises of mini-secretariat.