According to an article in the Saigon Times, VnExpress has reported that Thua Thien-Hue Province last week asked the Prime Minister of Vietnam to include the Chan May-Lang Co Economic Zone in a list of areas to be approved for casino development. Currently Ba Ria-Vung Tau, Danang, Hoi An, Quang Ninh, Kien Giang and Haiphong are the only provinces and cities allowed to have casinos. The largest casino development in the country is currently The Grand Ho Tram Strip (pictured).
An earlier request for permission for a Thua Thien-Hue province development, as well as a casino and tourist zone in Cam Lam District, north of the Cam Ranh Peninsula in Khanh Hoa Province were denied by the Ministry of Finance until a draft decree can be issued.
The current request is directed to Prime Minister Nguyen Tan Dung to be included in a list of potential sites to be considered. According to reports, the province has pointed out that Chan May-Lang Co is a key coastal zone with great trade and tourism potential. A number of foreign investors have shown interest in the area with a Hong Kong firm prepared to invest some $2 billion in a casino and tourist complex.
Thua Thien-Hue Province has already invested heavily in utilities and infrastructure in the Chan May-Lang Co Economic Zone and companies have registered US$1.55 billion in the area with about a third of that already spent.
Over 3 million people visited Thua Thien-Hue in 2014, more than a third of them foreigners.
According to local reports the PM approved a new location for a casino development on Phu Quoc Island off mainland Kien Giang Province about two weeks ago.
A draft decree by the Minister of Finance is eagerly awaited by foreign investors who are hoping it will be stimulus for a change in Vietnamese law that will allow certain qualified Vietnamese citizens to enter casinos in the country to gamble. Currently, gambling is only allowed for foreigners. Vietnamese now cross the border to neighboring countries that welcome their gambling money.
In other news Vietnamese news this week the Prime Minister has signed a directive that will waive visa requirements for visitors from five European countries beginning Wednesday, July 1st. The directive will expire in one year.
British, French, German, Italian, and Spanish visitors can enter the country without a visa for up to 15 days each visit. Foreign visitors going to Phu Quoc Island can stay for up to 30 days.
The European countries join Japan, South Korea, Norway, Finland, Denmark, Sweden, Russia, and Belarus in the one-way policy, as none of the aforementioned countries reciprocate with a similar policy.
Visa free travel is also available for visitors from Brunei, Myanmar, Cambodia, Indonesia, Laos, Malaysia, Thailand, Singapore, and the Philippines.
Visitor numbers to Vietnam have declined for 12 months in a row.