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Casino gambling to be permitted for local citizens

Released at: 14:40, 19/01/2017

Casino gambling to be permitted for local citizens

Photo: Archives

Draft decree submitted to government allows Vietnamese gamblers to enter casinos on a three-year trial.

by Hong Nhung

Vietnam will allow its citizens to gamble at two casinos as part of a three-year trial, according to the latest draft decree on the casino business submitted to the government.

Authorities require that Vietnamese people entering casinos must be 21 years of age or older and earn a monthly income of at least VND10 million ($450). Their relatives are also able to take steps to stop them gambling.

The two designated integrated casino and resort complexes, on Van Don Island in northern Quang Ninh province and on Phu Quoc Island in the Mekong Delta’s Kien Giang province, will permit entry to Vietnamese people in the trial.

Entry, according to the draft decree, will cost VND1 million ($43) per person for 24 hours or VND25 million ($1,110) per month. Gambling and payouts are in VND.

Vietnam has been tinkering with its gambling legislation for many years and the most recent updates reveal the Ministry of Finance (MoF) reversing course on its earlier plans to relax the long-standing ban on local residents entering gaming establishments.

The casino business has basically agreed on the principle of allowing Vietnamese people to enter casinos on a pilot basis. Authorities have confirmed that the casino business is a conditional field where only certified and qualified businesses are allowed to participate.

Authorities also request that involvement in the casino business be linked to the main business activities of enterprises, to promote the development of tourism and trade, diversify entertainment options, attracting tourists, and ensure national security, social order and safety, ethics, and public health.

The conditions for a casino to be opened have also been relaxed, with the minimum investment capital now $2 billion, down from $4 billion, according to local media.

Enterprises will only be licensed for investment when they fully disbursed at least half of the project’s committed investment capital.

The number of electronic gaming machines and gaming tables at a casino will depend on the total committed investment capital. For projects licensed after the effective date of the decree, for each $10 million in investment they are permitted to have one gaming table and ten electronic gaming machines. Projects previously licensed are subject to provisions within their investment license.

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