In Vietnam, local players are reportedly still not being granted access to select area casinos despite January’s passage of new rules that instituted a three-year pilot program and were to see native punters permitted to start gambling from Wednesday.

According to a report from Asia Gaming Brief citing the native Lao Dong newspaper, the passage of Government Decree 03/2017/ND-CP two months ago was due to see Vietnam passport holders permitted access to a number of local casinos from last week but operators have yet to begin admitting native players due to a lack of guidance on several issues including minimum income requirements.

In order to be allowed entry into a casino, the decree stipulated that Vietnamese players must reportedly have a minimum monthly income of approximately $439, be at least 21 years of age and possess the “full capacity for civil acts of individuals”. Lao Dong moreover reported that the rules specified that local punters may be banned if members of their family such as their parents, spouses or children submit a formal request preventing them from entering a gaming establishment or if they have violated national security rules or committed crimes abroad that resulted in a jail term of more than three years. Citizens that pass these requirements are then to be able to purchase 24 hours of play for $45 or spend $1,126 for one month’s access.

However, Pham Ngoc Nam, Deputy General Director for local casino operator Royal International Corporation, reportedly told Lao Dong that he and other firms in the northern Quang Ninh Province have taken a “wait and see” approach after failing to receive official guidance on exactly what players must show in order to prove their income.

“There would be no problem for employees to prove their income but it would be difficult for businessmen and freelancers to do this,” Nguyen Hoang Hai, Deputy Chair for the Vietnam Association Of Financial Investors, reportedly told Lao Dong. “Many casino goers are self-employed and wealthy but unwilling to apply for income certificates.”

Lao Dong reported that the government has begun finalizing draft implementation guidelines but no deadline has yet been forthcoming due to the fact that many issues have to be taken into consideration for the very first time.

Meanwhile, the VietNamNet Bridge online news portal has reported that the government’s decree has additionally received criticism for instituting a $44 gambling limit per day on Vietnam passport holders. This threshold is being seen by many as too low to attract the desired high-stakes players and the associated tax revenues they would generate.

“[The] $1,097 a month won’t be able to satisfy them [as] they would rather go gambling abroad than go to domestic casinos,” one unnamed owner of a Hanoi casino told VietNamNet Bridge.