Vietnam’s Ministry of Construction has asked the country’s prime minister for approval of a new location for a proposed casino resort at Phu Quoc island, off the country’s southern province of Kien Giang.
Locals are currently barred from playing in Vietnamese casinos and the government requires a minimum US$4-billion investment for any international-standard Phu Quoc gaming and entertainment facility. Approval in principle for a casino at Phu Quoc was granted in December by the central government.
Vietnamnet reported on Wednesday that no foreign investor has so far been found for the currently proposed site at Da Chong ward in Bai Thom on the island – despite Vietnamese officials making investment promotion trips overseas.
It recently emerged that a report in March – quoting a senior local official – suggesting Macau junket investor Suncity Group Ltd was interested in Phu Quoc – was in fact a false start. Suncity subsequently issued a statement saying it was not involved in such talks. GGRAsia has learned from industry sources that the people involved in the reported discussions were not representatives of Suncity and were not authorised to speak on its behalf.
The Ministry of Construction now says it would be easier to call for investors to develop a Phu Quoc project if it were located adjacent to a development called Vinpearl Resort.
The proposed new location for a casino resort covers 37 hectares (91.4 acres) as part of a zone for luxury tourism facilities in the northwest of the country’s biggest island. Meanwhile, the current site of the Phu Quoc casino project in the northeast of the island and near populous communes should be for resorts and recreational facilities-only, reported Vietnamnet.
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