Casinos still lack popularity in Vietnam
  • | laodong, | May 19, 2020 09:22 AM
Even though casinos have been legalised in Vietnam, they still are failing to attract investment and visitors.


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In early 2017, Government Resolution 3 legalised casino business in Vietnam along with regulations and fines for violations. The PM also approved the pilot plan allowing Vietnamese to enter casinos.

Nguyen Mai, Chairman of the Vietnam Association of Foreign Invested Enterprises said casinos were now operational in 43 hotels and resorts in Vietnam. The sector has had rapid growth and doubled in size since 2017. However, Mai said the socio-economic effects were still much lower than expected.

"Because this is a sensitive business so there's a lack of agreement about attracting foreign investment. We haven't been able to access or be in sync with international practices to adjust regulations over this business," Mai said.

With a population of nearly 100 million people and a growing middle class, Vietnam is a potential market for casinos. According to the firms, many people who earn from VND10m (USD426) to VND20m a month are willing to spend VND1m to VND3m on gambling.

Vietnamese people spend about USD3bn a year on buying lotto tickets, USD1bn on gaming and USD1bn on gambling overseas. Vietnam also attracts millions of visitors thanks to the beautiful scenery and some want to spend money in casinos.

According to Mai, the casino business is managed by the Ministry of Finance but due to lack of personnel, evaluating and issuing business permits have been slow.

"We need to revise and further complete the legal framework by learning from other countries. It will encourage foreign as well as Vietnamese individuals and organisations to invest in casinos and attract more tourists," Mai said. "We can learn from Singapore and set up a national council on gambling or allow city and provincial authorities to issue permits and manage the casinos as Australia does."

He went on to say that a national council on gambling problems is more suitable for Vietnam. The deputy prime minister can be the council's chairman and the members will be representatives of various ministries and associations.

This council will consult the prime minister on legal frameworks and management process in order to prevent any possible problems.

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