Gambling for locals a coin-toss
  • | vneconomy | February 01, 2010 04:47 PM

The Ministry of Finance (MoF) has finished collecting suggestions about regulations to oversee the casino and gambling industry. Many people have weighed in with their opinions about whether or not to allow Vietnamese people to gamble at casinos. They are currently forbidden according to national rules and regulations. This issue will be submitted to the National Assembly of the Socialist Republic of Vietnam for review and will to wait for approval.

Doan Vuong Cong, HR manager of Lao Cai Hotel Ltd., said that daily, thousands of Vietnamese people cross the cambodia border just to gamble before returning home. According to national rules and regulations, only foreigners and overseas Vietnamese people who have valid passports or legal reasons to enter Vietnam, are allowed to play at local casinos.

New casinos will soon be opened in Singapore and Hong Kong, hence, it is predicted that this number will be further increased as traveling from Ho Chi Minh City to other countries is quite simple.

This has resulted in the government losing out big with potential taxes towards the national budget. Also, managing activities for Vietnamese people who go abroad to play games at casinos seems impossible since many people often participate in gaming during business trips or holidays abroad.

Cong also feels that Vietnamese people should be allowed to play on casino floors in the country because the national budget will receive a remarkable amount of money from the gambling industry.

One representative of a casino business company in Quang Ninh said that on occasions of weekends, holidays or tourist seasons, many Vietnamese people have asked to join at local Casinos despite knowing the national rules and regulations. The demand for Vietnamese clients wishing to play would be very high if they were allowed.

Currently, the goal of building and operating casinos is to promote tourism and attract foreign investments to Vietnam. Therefore, only foreigners and Vietnamese living abroad are allowed to play at casinos. Vietnam now has 7 licensed casinos, 5 of which are operating under the joint venture enterprise with 100 percent foreign investment capital.

A representative from the MoF stated, "Casinos should not be encouraged because of their negative effects on society. Therefore, this industry should not be expanded too broadly and should focus only on people who have high incomes. The MoF is currently building a proposal of whether we should or should not allow Vietnamese people to play at casinos. This issue will be submitted to the National Assembly of the Socialist Republic of Vietnam for approval upon completion."

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