Mongolia Takes a Gamble on Legalizing Casino to Bring in Tourists and Boost Economy
Mongolia, a country with unique cultural heritage and diverse natural landscapes, is looking to attract more international tourists and drive economic growth by legalizing casinos. The Minister of Justice and Home Affairs has submitted draft laws on casinos, betting, and lottery to the parliament, emphasizing the potential for these establishments to contribute to the country's economy and increase tourist numbers.
Legalizing casinos can have several benefits for Mongolia's tourism industry and economy. It can help to capitalize on the country's strengths, such as its rich cultural heritage, diverse natural landscapes, and opportunity for adventure travel. By developing its tourism industry and offering new attractions such as casinos, Mongolia can attract more visitors and drive economic growth.
However, legalizing casinos also comes with potential risks, such as gambling addiction and money laundering. It's essential for the government to ensure that the proposed laws and regulations address these risks and protect both the tourists and the country's interests.
The Law on Casino will require casino operators to pledge a minimum investment of $300 million in Mongolia, with 40% of the daily profits going to the government as income tax. After 30 years, the government will also receive 50% ownership of the tables. The law prohibits the transfer of licenses once they are obtained.
In addition to the new laws on casinos, betting, and lottery, the government is also considering a bill to legalize horse racing bets, which would regulate all forms of gambling and betting in Mongolia.
To further boost the country's tourism industry and government income, the Mongolian government aims to turn the new international airport into a free trade zone, attracting casinos to the area.
Legalizing casinos has been successful in other countries, such as the United States and Macau, where they have contributed significantly to the economy and driven tourism growth. The Mongolian government hopes to replicate this success by attracting operators to invest in the country.
In conclusion, legalizing casinos in Mongolia has the potential to boost the country's tourism industry and economy. However, it's essential for the government to ensure that the proposed laws and regulations address the potential risks and protect both the tourists and the country's interests.
About Amar Adiya
Amar Adiya is Editor-in-Chief of Mongolia Weekly, an English newsletter on political analysis and business intelligence every week. He is also a regional director at Washington-based strategic advisory firm BowerGroupAsia.