Vietnam currently does not allow local residents to gamble at any of the casinos in the country but has been discussing the possibility of amending that law for an extended period of time. A number of international gambling operators have expressed interest in bringing in foreign investment and developing new casinos if the government was to lift the ban on local entry.
Industry observer Professor Augustine Ha Ton Vinh is well versed with Vietnam’s gaming laws and political system. Ton Vinh had speculated in September that the government was holding serious discussions and would make a number of changes to the gaming law in the country. Yogonet recently provided an interesting update to that report as Ton Vinh now confirms to them that the Politburo of the Communist Party has decided to go ahead with a three year trial to allow locals to gamble.
The new draft decree according to Ton Vinh will permit Vietnamese residents to gamble at only two casinos in the country for a trial period of three years only. One will be the integrated casino resort in Van Don Island, Ha Long Bay North Vietnam and the other will be on Phu Quoc Island in South Vietnam. The Politburo remain open to the possibility of allowing locals to gamble at two more integrated resorts in Central Vietnam going forward according to the professor. The Ministry of Finance has reportedly revised the gaming decree and the latest draft supports these changes according to the report.
In a statement, Ton Vinh said “I believe Vietnam will see a new and booming gaming industry which will significantly help boost foreign direct investment, improve local and regional tourism, stem outflows of capital, develop new skilled labor, etc. I am confident the Ministry of Finance will get its final draft decree approved and will soon release it, possibly in the next few months.”
As outlined it would appear as if local Vietnamese who want to gamble at these two integrated casino resorts will need to be over the age of 21, show salary proof where their income is over $500 per month, have no criminal record and immediate family should have no objections to them playing at the casino. Local residents will have to pay $50 as an entrance fee for each visit or apply for a monthly pass that is fixed at $1,100.
The latest draft decree may also allow smaller casinos in Vietnam to expand their operations provided they meet a number of financial investment criteria that is designed to boost tourism and the local economy.
Large integrated casino resort proposals would receive a license provided they are willing to make a total investment of more than $2 billion, while smaller casinos will have to make an investment under $2 billion to receive a casino license. Once they have spent a total of $1 billion, they will be granted a 20 year operating license. The new decree also gives casinos one gaming table and ten electronic machines for every $10 million that is disbursed.