Region 2 Police are using seven rules to clean up and crackdown on Pattaya entertainment venues, including strict enforcement of legal closing times.
Major General Nantawut Suwanlaong, Acting of the Chonburi Provincial Police Commander told the Pattaya News on November 18th, 2022, at a major meeting with the press, Pattaya City officials, and bar owners “In Banglamung district there are in total 1,329 registered entertainment venues and restaurants selling alcohol. There are many incidents and chaos that have happened in Pattaya recently which have caused public nuisances. The Region 2 Police is now directly strictly enforcing seven regular rules and have stepped in to enforce the rules in Pattaya.”
The rules are:
- No allowing underage users below 20 to enter bar and entertainment venues.
- No selling alcohol to underage users below 20 in any venues including restaurants.
- Entertainment venues must be shut and all customers gone by legal closing times, currently between midnight to 2AM depending on zone.
- Selling alcohol over the legal time is prohibited at all venues.
- Allowing weapons and illegal drugs into entertainment venues is prohibited
- Allowing human trafficking in entertainment venues is prohibited.
- Allowing illegal gambling in any venue is prohibited.
“We are enforcing all these rules in Pattaya. Pattaya must be clear of underage users at entertainment venues, human trafficking, weapons, drugs, and overstaying foreigners.” Nantawut added.
As for overstaying foreigners, Nantawut warned that police would be inspecting documents and passports of tourists to ensure they were not overstaying and encouraged all tourists to at the bare minimum have a legible copy of their recent documentation including their passport stamps with them at all times.
“From now on, at 1:00 A.M. every single day dozens of police and relevant officers are patrolling to enforce these seven rules and encourage venues to close on time every day. I am personally patrolling myself every Friday and Saturday to ensure the legal closing times are obeyed.” Nantawut said.
“If any venue operator is found breaking these rules, they will face legal action and will be suggested for permanent closure. If they cannot follow these seven rules, zoning rules, or opening hours, Region 2 police will oppose any proposal to extend hours or adjust entertainment zones in Pattaya currently at review in the Thai Cabinet.” Nantawut concluded.
Nantawut was referring to a proposal set to be discussed on November 29th at the Thai Cabinet regarding allowing tourism zones to legally let entertainment venues stay open until 4 AM after many pleas from the Tourism Authority and nightlife business owners who claim 2AM is too early to close nightclubs and similar venues for tourists on holiday.
A second proposal is also in the works to extend entertainment zones in Pattaya for the first time since 2002 out of central Pattaya and into outlying areas like Jomtien, Naklua, and East Pattaya (The Dark Side) allowing bars and nightlife venues to legally operate later versus current legal closing time of midnight in these areas.
Nantawut has threatened however to officially oppose these proposals and ask the cabinet to remove Pattaya from a list of suggested later closing extended tourist zones like Phuket and Samui to get later closing times if venues cannot follow the current rules.
Many businesses and tourists have expressed their desire online for legal later opening times for bars and entertainment venues especially with the world cup starting tomorrow, November 20th, and many games playing around 2:00 A.M.
However, the recent announcement from Region 2 police, who are responsible for all the eastern provinces of Thailand, pours cold water on these desires at least until November 29th, as long as police do not officially oppose later closing times in Pattaya.