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Poll shows majority opposes legalised casinos


March 10, 2008

Poll shows majority opposes legalised casinos

Slightly more than half of the total respondents in a poll conducted by Assumption University’s ABAC Poll disagreed with the Thai government’s plan to legalise casinos in the kingdom with the aim of attracting more foreign tourists and generating additional revenue to offset the administration’s budget deficit, Thai News Agency reported.
The survey was conducted on 2,726 people in 18 provinces nationwide and found 56.4 percent of respondents opposed the idea, which was floated recently by prime minister Samak Sundaravej. Those in support accounted for 31.9 percent of respondents.

Samak has said if he could complete his four year term as prime minister, Thailand would have casinos.

The controversial issue was floated by several governments in the past, but was opposed by private organisations who said Thailand as a Buddhist country should not legalize casinos because they were against the Lord Buddha’s teachings.
Despite the opposition to legalised casinos in Thailand, 55.3 percent of the ABAC poll respondents said gambling was a normal thing and 35 percent admitted they had gambled before.
Meanwhile the survey found the popularity of Mr. Samak, who took office early February following the December 23, 2007 general election, was at a rather unimpressive 45.3 percent, while those against him was at 32.3 percent and those remaining neutral at 22.4 percent.

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