Gaming | Vietnam’s ready: First casino allowing local players

The Bai Dai Integrated Resort Project in Phu Quoc, Vietnam’s largest island in the southernmost province of Kien Giang, will be the first casino in the country to accept Vietnamese players. The initiative was proposed as a three-year-long trial project and carried out by the government by the Ministry of Planning and Investment (MPI), the Hanoi Times reported.

The proposal is expected to get the green light from the government and is said to be able to, “contribute to local socio-economic development in general and for tourism development in Phu Quoc in particular,” said the MPI.

Approval is also expected to help refine the legal and institutional framework on casino businesses, which are considered as ‘conditional businesses’ in Vietnam, subject to approval from the Prime Minister.

In January Government Decree No. 03 took effect. The 3-year pilot scheme provided a legal framework for casino businesses, a bill that was seen as an effort by government to legalize casino businesses and to grant locals permission to play. Previously, only foreign passport holders were allowed to gamble in the country’s 30 casinos and electronic gaming parlors. The decree also allowed local Vietnamese citizens older than 21 and who have a regular income of at least VND10 million (MOP 3,541) per month to access and play at Vietnam-based casinos.

In order to access a casino in Vietnam, locals must buy an entrance ticket costing VND1 million (MOP354) and which is valid for 24 consecutive hours, or a VND25 million (MOP 8,858) ticket valid for one month.  All revenue from the tickets go to the budget of the province where the casino is located.

Macau investors are involved in several casinos in Vietnam, such as the 

USD4 billion South Hoi An integrated casino-resort located in

the central province of Quang Nam. According to the Hanoi Times, construction was started in 2016 through a collaboration with VinaCapital, Chow Tai Fook Enterprises (Hong Kong) and SunCity Group (Macau). The first phase of the project is expected to be launched by early 2019. Once completed, it will be the second-largest casino in Vietnam after the Grand Ho Tram Strip resort and casino complex.

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