Vietnam’s Ministry of Finance aims to amend the country’s gambling decree to make investment in the nascent casino sector (and surrounding infrastructure) more appealing.
The current rules require a minimum initial commitment of $2bn investment, which would remain the same. However, under the newly proposed rules any additional capital disbursed into other areas of the economy could also go towards this total quota for licence eligibility.
The new law would allow one such investor, the Sun Group, to achieve casino status, by totting up its previous investments in the Van Don Economic Zone airport, and the Van Dong to Halong Bay expressway.
Together Sun Group has invested around $800bn into the two projects, meaning it’s casino complex in Van Don can go ahead. Sun Group has also asked for an extension to its licence, from 50 years to 70.
The boost to the casino market comes after the Politburo approved a pilot programme to allow locals to enter casinos for the first time from last year, under tight regulations. Vingroup’s Corona Resort and Casino in Phu Quoc Island attracted 47,400 Vietnamese in 2019, or 45 percent of all footfall.
The Vietnam Association of Foreign Investment Enterprises (VAFIE) also submitted proposals in May for the government to build on the success of these policies by adopting more international institutions and standards on casino investment to attract more FDI and more tourists.
Twelve casino projects have been granted licences in Vietnam and eight of them are operational. The ministry reckons revenues from these eight casinos has roughly doubled in the past three years to VND2.5trn ($107m).