Vietnamese people, for the first time, are eligible to gamble in a casino located in the country’s biggest island of Phu Quoc.
Corona casino. Photo: Corona
Locals who are above 21, with monthly income of minimum VND10 million (US$435), and have no history of criminal offenses, are allowed to play at Corona Resort and Casino, which was open last weekend.
Corona Resort and Casino is part of a larger ecotourism and entertainment complex which is partly invested by Vietnam’s largest conglomerate, Vingroup. The developer invested more than US$2.1 billion into the luxury hotel and casino resort.
Under a new government-endorsed program, Phu Quoc-based casino will allow locals to enter its premises and gamble during a three-year trial period. The three-year program aims to help Vietnamese lawmakers determine whether residents should be allowed to gamble at local casinos permanently.
Vietnamese passport holders are not allowed to gamble more than 720 hours a month.
Gambling of all kinds is banned in Vietnam and locals are not allowed to gamble in any casino though the country is home to eight licensed casino projects.
Allowing or banning locals from gambling in casinos remains an issue of mixed reviews. Many experts said that it would be a bad idea as Vietnamese people are maniac for gambling and a legal permission might result in unexpected social consequences like impoverishment.
Meanwhile, big companies support the trial as this sector remains potential to invest in. Vietnam’s casino market is estimated to value US$1.2 billion per year as calculated by Union Gaming Securities Asia.
Club99 at Furama Resort Danang. Photo: Furama
Following the booming of resort projects across Vietnam, mostly in tourism attractions like Danang, Nha Trang, Hoi An, Vung Tau, Haiphong, and Ho Chi Minh City, gambling services are on the rise to meet the demand of growing foreign visitors to the country.
So far, Ho Tram Strip casino belonging to The Grand Ho Tram Strip located in the southern coastal province of Ba Ria-Vung Tau by Canada-invested Asian Coast Development Ltd has the biggest investment of US$4.2 billion.