The only casino in Vietnam that allows locals to gamble alongside foreign tourists has reportedly been forced to temporarily close its doors for a second time as the country continues to struggle against the ongoing coronavirus pandemic.
According to a report from GGRAsia, the 3,000-room Corona Resort and Casino was shuttered for a three-week period from March 31 of last year and only partially re-opened following the implementation of a strict set of new social distancing, public health and curfew protocols. The source detailed that this earlier stoppage came after Vietnam had recorded a significant rise month-on-month in the number of active coronavirus cases to 212.
Located on the southern island of Phu Quoc, the 211-acre Corona Resort and Casino has reportedly not specified a particular reason for its latest closure but did declare that the move was in keeping with a recent ‘government announcement.’ However, GGRAsia suggested that the decision could have been prompted by a recent steep increase in the prevalence of coronavirus in Vietnam that has taken the country’s annual infection tally to well beyond 52,300.
Vietnam has reportedly seen almost 51,000 people test positive for coronavirus since the start of May, which represents a swell of over 1,700%, to take is associated historical death toll up to 254. GGRAsia purportedly explained that the southern half of the country has been hit particularly hard and recorded approximately 6,000 new cases on Sunday alone.
Phu Quoc is reportedly part of Kien Giang Province, which is one of 16 southern jurisdictions that were ordered into a pandemic-related lockdown earlier today with only essential businesses permitted to remain open. Known locally as Directive 16, this quarantine is purportedly now expected to last at least two weeks with residents moreover being advised to stay in their homes except for journeys to visit a hospital or obtain crucial goods such as food.
Operated by Dutch firm Uppfinity Gaming Management BV, the $2.1 billion Corona Resort and Casino was reportedly opened in January of 2019 and is currently one of a trio of venues that were earlier given permission to participate in a special three-year trial that allows Vietnamese nationals to gamble so long as they can meet a rigorous range of eligibility criteria encompassing a minimum monthly salary of $433. The remaining pair of local-friendly casinos for the nation of over 96.2 million inhabitants, which include one being developed near Hanoi alongside a second for the Van Don Special Administrative Economic Zone, have purportedly yet to open.