The boss for Asian casino operator Donaco International Limited has reportedly announced that he does not expect the government of Thailand to legalize gambling any time soon despite the recent emergence of rumors to the contrary.
According to a report from Inside Asian Gaming, Lee Bug Huy serves as Chief Executive Officer for the Sydney-listed firm and his forecast came on Friday as part of a conference call with investors to discuss the company’s half-year financial results. The source detailed that Donaco International Limited is responsible for the Aristo International Hotel in northern Vietnam as well as Cambodia’s Star Vegas Resort and Club, which sits just meters from that nation’s international land border with Thailand.
Although casino gambling is currently illegal in Thailand, many locals reportedly travel to the neighboring nation of Cambodia so as to enjoy the action offered at border venues such as the Star Vegas Resort and Club. The prospect that this situation could soon change was purportedly raised in January when Prime Minister Prayut Chan-O-Cha revealed he was considering legalization as part of a raft of measures that would be designed to help counter the proliferation of illicit gambling dens.
However, Lee has now reportedly poured cold water on any such prospect by declaring that he does not anticipate the legalization of casino gambling in Thailand ‘at this stage.’ Instead, he purportedly explained that his company has been focused on attracting local Thai ex-pats to the Star Vegas Resort and Club, which is located in the border town of Poipet, as the frontier between the two nations remains closed as a precaution against the coronavirus pandemic.
Lee reportedly moreover pronounced that his firm’s Star Vegas Resort and Club re-opened to the public in late-September following a 25-week shutdown at the hands of the coronavirus pandemic and recently recorded around $2.2 million in earnings before interest, tax, depreciation and amortization for the six months to the end of December. The executive moreover purportedly stated that this figure sits in stark contrast to the $537,000 chalked up by the Aristo International Hotel and came after both venues had altered their gaming floors via the addition of new amenities and slots.
The boss for Donaco International Limited reportedly finished by asserting that he is confident about the future of the 337-room Star Vegas Resort and Club despite a recent drop in visitation caused by yet another local wave of the coronavirus pandemic. Lee purportedly declared that this inconvenience is only temporary and would soon be overcome ‘as vaccinations commence in southeast Asia in the second half of the year.’