Vietnam to expand pilot casino scheme


Vietnam is likely to expand its pilot scheme assessing whether locals can gamble at casinos responsibly.

It was initially scheduled to end later this year, but there are indications that it might now stay in force until 2024.

After lawmakers approved the programme in 2017, the scheme was launched two years later, but, because of the pandemic, and the consequent restriction on activity, the authorities have decided that they have not been able to gather enough data to determine if people are able to visit casinos and play without them subsequently becoming addicts.

Two properties were selected to participate in the trial scheme. The first was the Phuoc Corona Resort and Casino in Phu Quoc. This opened in 2019, but was forced to shutter its doors because of the pandemic. Figures indicate that, of the more than 240,000 visitors who passed through its doors through September of last year, 65% were local Vietnamese players.

However, things did not go according to plan at the other site selected, in the Van Don Economic Zone in the Quang Ninh province for the simple reason that the casino there is still not open, despite the fact it should have started operations three years ago.

Like many countries, the global health crisis has had a major impact on Vietnam’s economy, and both domestic and international tourism has been badly affected. Given that, it’s felt that it’s too early to draw any firm conclusions from the pilot scheme, especially given the limited data available.

Of course, whilst physical casinos across the planet were forced to close operations, sometimes for months on end, during the pandemic, the same did not apply to their online counterparts.

They actually thrived as millions of people turned to them as sources of entertainment and a way of alleviating the stress of lockdown and, even though the health crisis is receding, many of them continue to thrive like these $1 minimum deposit casinos because so many people have discovered the ease and convenience of gambling online.

Now the Ministry of Finance is considering adding two more venues to the scheme, giving decision-markets many more options for pooling data.

One area under consideration is Sun World Ba Na Hill in Da Nang, which is already a popular tourist destination, although it currently lacks a large scale casino. Opening one there would make it an even more attractive venue it is felt for Vietnamese and foreign visitors alike.

The other property on the Ministry’s radar is on Hon Tre Island in Nha Trang. This is another popular resort and is operated by Vinpearl, a hospitality company with interests across the country.

Vinpearl are reported to have already invested US $1.2 billion into the amenities of the property, but have yet to see any decent return on that investment because of the pandemic. Including it within the pilot scheme could provide it with a timely financial injection.

The Ministry has already turned down a third candidate that wanted to be included in the scheme, Binh Thuan in the Dai Dhong valley, on the grounds that it was not a good candidate because of the lack of international tourism in the area.

Tech Digest Correspondent

One thought on “Vietnam to expand pilot casino scheme

Comments are closed.