Vietnam close to casino reform

Vietnam close to casino reform

Tuesday, June 28, 2016 Totally Gaming

Vietnam’s gambling sector could be set for a major boost after long-awaited legislation that would allow its citizens to play in casinos was submitted. 

The bill, which was started seven years ago, is expected to stir interest among foreign investors in the casino business as, under existing rules, casino entry is limited to foreigners and overseas Vietnamese or Viet Kieu.

According to a report by the Vietnam Investment Review newspaper, the long delay in approval of the decree has been a barrier to casino businesses entering Vietnam, as existing regulation which bans locals from playing at casinos has stalled the industry. It added that unless the draft decree is approved, the government will not consider licensing new casino projects, which has made investors nervous, until now.

“We hope that this will be the last draft, already we have seen a lot of revisions before its submission in June,” Nguyen Huy Dat, deputy director of the Ministry of Finance’s (MoF) Lottery and Gambling Division, told the newspaper.

According to statistics by the Ministry of Finance, Vietnam has licensed eight businesses to run casinos. Singapore’s Banyan Tree Holdings, a leader in hotel and casino resorts, recently told the newspaper that it was waiting for licence approval to proceed with a project in the Thua Thien-Hue province.

A Banyan Tree official said: “Our US partner has shown considerable interest in running a casino business in the Laguna Lang Co. Once we get the license, we would work with our partner on the details of the plan.

TotallyGaming.com says: “This is an exciting development for Vietnam, with a recent study by the Institute of Regional Sustainable Development (IRSD) showing that if foreign direct investment in the casino sector increased by $3bn (€2.7bn), Vietnam’s GDP would expand by 0.6 per cent.”

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