In Da Nang and Khanh Hoa

Vietnam's Ministry of Finance backs two new foreigners-exclusive casino proposals; shoots down third bid

Vietnam's Ministry of Finance.
Reading time 1:48 min

Vietnam's Ministry of Finance is backing proposals for two casinos that would be exclusive to foreigners. The Sun World Ba Na Hills resort in Da Nang city, and a venue at Hon Tre Island in Khanh Hoa Province, would represent locations that have "good tourism potential" and are "especially attractive to foreigners," the Ministry said in the proposals it has forwarded to the government.

However, the Ministry has refused to back a proposal for the construction of a casino in the central province of Binh Thuan, due to its "low" tourism potential and pointing out its lack of a port or airport.

Sun World Ba Na Hills resort in Da Nang city

While there are no casinos in Da Nang city, Khanh Hoa had previously received approval to build a casino resort in KN Paradise in Cam Ranh, and construction of the venue has already started, reports New Straits Times.

With gambling considered a "social evil" in Vietnam, citizens are only permitted to enter one casino on the southern island of Phu Quoc and one in Van Don, in the northern province of Quang Ninh, in a trial program that was originally meant to last three years. However, the Ministry recommended the extension of the program at Phu Quoc Casino until 2024, as casinos were hit hard by the pandemic in the last two years.

Corona Casino Phu Quoc

The Phu Quoc Casino saw revenue grow by 9.5% in 2019 and 2020 before falling by 10 percent in 2021. Vietnam has a total of nine casinos, including three major ones on Phu Quoc Island in Kien Giang Province, Quang Nam Province, and Ba Ria – Vung Tau Province. All nine reported losses last year.

According to VN Express, Ho Chi Minh City had asked for Vietnamese above 18 years old to be allowed to play at casinos, as it believes that this would help the development of the nighttime economy in the city. Furthermore, the Ho Chi Minh City People's Committee had sent a proposal in May asking for casinos to be allowed in five-star hotels and in major tourist destinations as a trial.

The move was touted as a policy to promote tourism investments, especially for entertainment, as the bustling city seeks to recover after being hit hard by the Covid-19 pandemic.

In the past, only foreigners were allowed to play at casinos in Vietnam but Vietnamese above 21 years old have since been allowed to play at casinos as a trial. However, they must have a monthly income of at least VND10 million (US$432.35) or be subjected to personal taxes of at least 15%, as reported by VN Express.

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