In Vietnam and a senior politician has reportedly confirmed a request that could see the government officially extend the pilot program that allows local punters to gamble within the Asian nation’s Corona Resort and Casino facility.

According to a report from Inside Asian Gaming, the revelation from Nguyen Duc Chi, who serves as Deputy Finance Minister for Vietnam, comes after the country began a three-year trial from 2019 that permits local gamblers to fully enjoy the 3,000-room property on the southern island of Phu Quoc so long as they can meet a range of eligibility criteria. However, the source detailed that the ultimate success of this scheme was later hampered by the appearance of the coronavirus pandemic and a resultant drop in domestic tourism.

Empirical evaluation:

Chi reportedly divulged that his office has officially asked the government of President Nguyen Xuan Phuc to extend the pilot program at the 211-acre Corona Resort and Casino for a further two years so that it may be more effectively assessed. The politician purportedly noted that this request also embraced a call for the local-friendly scheme to be rolled out across a further pair of casinos taking shape near the coastal cities of Da Nang and Nha Trang.

Missed opportunity:

Vietnam is home to approximately 68 million adults and the original three-year pilot was to have moreover reportedly encompassed the $1.8 billion resort casino Sun Group is building on Quang Ninh Province’s Van Don archipelago. But this 6,177-acre development’s inclusion was later purportedly scuppered by numerous delays that pushed back its envisioned opening date to sometime in 2024.

Chi reportedly stated…

“The coronavirus pandemic has had a great impact on Vietnam’s production, hospitality and tourism over the last two years, particularly the casino business. To properly evaluate the effectiveness of the pilot program, it’s necessary to extend the program by two more years.”

Considerable contribution:

Inside Asian Gaming reported that a government-led examination recently found that the casino pilot program has so far seen the Corona Resort and Casino venue amass some $5.9 million in domestic gaming revenues, which equates to about 5% of its overall total. The source went on to cite local academic Augustine Ha Ton Vinh as proclaiming that the scheme should be extended because the government now has ‘suitable solutions to strictly manage casino business activities without disrupting social order’.

Vinh reportedly told the source…

“But at the same time, the policy also needs to better meet the needs of investors in large-scale casino complexes. To meet the needs of domestic players, there are still many large-scale casinos across the country besides the Corona Resort and Casino that can be piloted for Vietnamese people to play such as the Ho Tram casino or the Nam Hoi An casino.”