Despite several failed efforts dating back to 1997, the country is attempting to diversify its economy by tapping into Asia’s lucrative gambling industry. According to the news agency, news.mn reports that on January 10, the Judicial Standing Committee made a decision to establish a working group to work on drafting legislation that would authorize casino resorts “under the leadership of MP L.Enkhbold.”
In November 2016, it was reported by Russia’s UlanMedia that the government of Mongolia was reviving legislation that would allow a casino and racetrack near its border with Buryatia, a Russian republic in eastern Siberia. Prior to that, Reuters reported that on February 12, 2015, draft legislation that would allow the construction of two casino projects was approved by the country’s Cabinet Secretariat. That push, if successful, would’ve seen Australia’s Frontier Capital Group become the first casino licensee in Mongolia but the company backed out in February last year.
A model currently used in Cambodia, South Korea, and Vietnam has been proposed for the new legislation, which means Mongolian citizens would not be able to legally gamble in casinos, according to the news agency. Those countries currently enforce foreigner-only policies, where only foreign nationals are allowed to gamble legally in casino resorts, which are most often situated near border cities or international airports.
In Vietnam, however, Prime Minister Nguyen Xuan Phuc recently announced that Vietnamese citizens would be permitted to gamble at two casino resorts, one in Van Don Special Economic Zone at Ha Long Bay North Vietnam and the other on Phu Quoc Island in South Vietnam, on a two-year trial basis.
The new legislation would establish two casinos in Mongolia, which according to the report, are expected to generate annual tax revenue of MNT 74-130 billion. Currently, the country that shares borders with Russia to the north and China to the south, east, and west, has no legal land-based casinos.