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New Bets on Thai Casinos

27 Jun 2005

THAILAND – As reported by the Australian: "The prospects for Australia's gaming tycoons of new opportunities in Thailand have improved, with the Thai Government pushing for a referendum on legalising casinos.

"The moves follow a series of raids on illegal casinos last week, prompting Prime Minister Thaksin Shinawatra to call for a debate on the issue.

"…Mr Shinawatra said a vote on the issue could be held at the next election.

"The debate will be closely watched by Kerry Packer's Publishing & Broadcasting Ltd and Victorian gaming giant Tabcorp - both of whom are expected to be among many gaming operators keen on any Thai casino licence.

"…PBL is expected to be well positioned for any change as Mr Packer already knows Mr Shinawatra - a popular leader who made his fortune building a telecommunications empire before entering politics.

"…PBL has an Asian gaming joint venture with Melco International Development, a company chaired by Macau's former gambling monopolist, Stanley Ho, through which they are committed to pursuing further Asian gaming opportunities…"

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