In previous years, Vietnam has a variety of several huge casino resorts for the typical gambler, but all of them somewhat prefer foreign customers. Finally, starting next year, Vietnamese citizens who like to gamble will get the opportunity to do their favorite pastime without breaking any of their country's laws.
According to the Nikkei Asian Review, a three-year test program is going to start next year that will permit citizens to gamble at a specific casino on Phu Quoc Island, a popular tourist spot situated in Kien Giang. It seems like Vietnam's lawmakers are finally coming around to realize that it is much better to legalize gambling activities and regulate them rather than ban them and risk the occurrence of illegal gambling.
The plan was approved by the central government, which means this could eventually lead to having more projects put up such as horse racing facilities and other casinos which is spread throughout the designated spot in Vietnam. This month the regulators have approved the plans to build a horse-racing facility in the Soc Son District, which has been lying dormant for a decade now.
The major real estate developer in Vietnam called Vingroup shall be the primary beneficiary of the pilot program. It is the owner of the casino that has a capital investment of more than $2 billion, and it is part of an entertainment compound funded by Vingroup subsidiary called Phu Quoc Tourism Investment and Development.
The casino complex, though completed, is not yet operational as it is still awaiting its license from regulators. As soon as the license is approved, the casino could very well be operational early in 2019.
Throughout the years, Vietnam has had to deal with a huge incidence of illegal gambling in the country. However, it has been reported that under current laws, Vietnam has been losing around $800 million annually due to its citizens traveling to Cambodia just to gamble. It has been theorized since March 2017 that citizens were able to gamble in the country but creating the framework to oversee the activity has been but a very slow process. In order to control the situation, the Phu Quoc casino was authorized, hoping that the legalization of gambling will eventually help protect its citizens.
When the pilot launches, all gamblers must be 21 years of age or older. Also, they will have to prove that they have a monthly income of at least 10 million Vietnamese dong (approx. US$427) and not have a criminal record. Other than that, the casino will charge a 1 million dong (US$44) entrance fee, and all gamblers will be required to purchase a monthly gambling permit which costs a whopping 25 million dong (US$1,100).