Opinion
Vietnam's largest casino could be a risky venture
  • | dtinews.vn | January 29, 2010 03:25 PM

The opening of the Crowne Casino in the Silver Shores International Resort in Danang provides a glimpse into what could be the future of tourism for this city.

If it is successful, the plans will be heralded as a sign of success and development in the region, if not, it might be lauded as one of the biggest flops in investment history here.

We visited the casino on its 3rd day since opening the doors in hopes of seeing what the future of resort gambling in Vietnam would have to offer and to conduct some interviews. There was little traffic on the way to the new 5 star resort and from the outside it looked quite impressive. The landscaping and buildings are all brand-new and fresh. The casino itself does much more for the eyes then the hotel which doesn't strike one as particularly special.

Upon entering the doors, we were greeted by a very friendly staff. We were asked to handover our cameras before entering the playing floor.

The casino itself is now operating, albeit quietly. There were about 6-8 people actually gaming, and at least 3 or 4 staff members for each of those gamblers. It was eerily quiet for a casino. This certainly was no Vegas.

Some things were noticeably absent for a casino environment. There were no slot machines, no cocktail waitresses, no flashing lights and no noise.

It was virtually silent, and it felt as if my mother might be watching me, as if I wasn't supposed to be there. The chandlers and decor were excellent but the entire playing floor was smaller than some suites in Vegas, and far less than what I would have imagined for Vietnam's largest casino. We chatted with a few employees and requested an interview which wasn't granted.

I felt so awkward in the place, I didn't even place one wager, despite my excitement to play for a few numbers on the roulette wheel before we got there. It seemed that even if we got lucky, any celebrating or screams of joy would have been out-of-line behavior. There was no excitement.

The project is brand new, and it will go through some growing pains undoubtedly. Only time will tell if this investment pays off.

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