Thailand 4.0 Should Include the Thoroughbred Industry
On 6 September 1901, King Rama the Fifth granted the Royal Charter, which gave birth to the Royal Bangkok Sports Club. The King also instructed the Club to obtain, by taking a lease or by any other means, the piece of land known as the Royal Racing Course as the site of the Club. That piece of land is still the site of the Royal Bangkok Sports Club today.
In the beginning years, the Royal Bangkok Sports Club held 3 races per year. It now holds 26 race meetings per year while the only other racetrack in Bangkok, the Royal Turf Club (established 1961) holds another 26 race meetings.
While racing is a booking industry in the rest of Asia, Thailand sadly has fallen behind.
China has built around 100 race tracks, Japan, Malaysia, Hong Kong, Macau and Singapore have extended on their strong base and now South Korea is seeing a major surge in racing and associated investments.
Thailand has a golden opportunity to turn racing in to a major industry, more tourists than any of it’s regional competitors, 2 tracks in the City and one within a reasonable distance of Bangkok, but little is being done for the sport and the massive economic windfall that is available from the industry is being lost. Tracks could be filled to the rafters with a little bit of work.
Thailand lost it’s place in the international stud book, the Bangkok Clubs devote most of their attention to the “Members”, these are mostly wealthy locals with little or no interest in racing while the general racing public are not very well cared for, and the industry participants are neglected.
How Could the Thoroughbred Industry Take Off in Thailand?
I do not see the industry in Thailand as a difficult one to rebuild, there are big owners in the country that race overseas, there are quality horsemen and there were a number of Studs. The race track locations are truly spectacular and could bring enormous crowds.
The quick fix list would be:
1. Start the races on time, the horses getting left in the barriers for 15min etc is outrageous and dangerous.
2. Allow broadcast of the races, this is not an impossibility, it happens in Dubai and other countries where any form of gambling in illegal it can happen in Thailand.
3. Use the proceeds the sport generates to improve prize money.
4. Have a zero tolerance policy for corruption at every level, from the highest to the lowest position.
5. Give the sport back to the people.
There really are no excuses why Thailand is not a major destination for Horse Racing.
Thailand Board of Investment Offers Privileges to Support Thai Infrastructure Development in Tandem With Fast-progressing Thailand 4.0 Initiatives
Thailand’s strategically important geographic location gives it ample advantage to become a primary regional economic hub, not only in trade, investment and tourism, but also in communication and transportation networks that connect to other regions around the world. And the government has in recent years made investment in domestic infrastructure its top priority.
The Thailand infrastructure action plan for 2017 is worth US$25.2 billion and includes 36 projects, covering rail, roads, air transport and ports around the country. The government plans to begin selling Thailand Future Fund investment units in October as an infrastructure investment alternative. It’s a way of raising liquidity from the public for the construction of massive state infrastructure projects. The unit sales are expected to reap $1.1 billion.
Not 1 Satang went towards developing an industry that could be worth billions for Thailand.