Following a week-long crackdown on bar-closing times by Banglamung police, Pattaya bar owners have ratcheted up their campaign to have hours extended, saying closing entertainment venues at their legal times is costing them money.
Representatives from more than 500 city entertainment establishments signed a petition presented to the Chonburi governor’s office Aug. 24, capping several days of protests and meetings with city, district and provincial officials.
The bar owners claim that closing between 1 a.m. and 3 a.m., depending on the bar’s location, is too early and that during tough economic times, they are losing money.
What is needed, they said, is for the law to be changed or temporarily ignored so bars can continue to operate until 4 a.m. or later, as they did before.
Deputy Chonburi Gov. Sunthorn Ratanawaraha listened to the petitioners’ grievances at Pattaya City Hall, but said there was little he could do, other than forward their petition to the Interior Ministry, which typically has taken a hard line against late-night operations. It was the ministry’s Office of Local Administration, which oversees the operations of all of Thailand’s provinces, that ordered Banglamung authorities to shut down all Walking Street bars and clubs at 3 a.m. from Aug. 15-22.
Sunthorn said closing times have been specified in the major Entertainment Law for some time. He told the group that local authorities are working as best they can with the central government to reach a solution, but that they need to wait for their representatives to complete their talks.
However, many Pattaya entertainment clubs have already submitted a letter, requesting extended service hours. It is hoped it will result in amendments to the Interior Ministry rules.
Source: Pattaya Mail