Casino scheme investors, in certain parts of Vietnam that are seeking economic development, might soon be able to count non-casino infrastructure towards the value of the total capital that is required to get a gaming licence, reports the Vietnam News Agency, citing a proposal from the country’s Ministry of Finance.
The new terms would stand to benefit places including Van Don Economic Zone in the northern province of Quang Ninh, said the report.
The national rules requiring a minimum capital investment of US$2 billion for a casino project – moderated previously from a US$4 billion requirement – and the rule requiring disbursed capital of US$1 billion or more, before the granting of a gaming licence, will remain in place.
The ministry has proposed allowing casino investors in underdeveloped regions like Van Don – people that have also made significant infrastructure investments in the same region – to count portions of those infrastructure efforts as contributing up to 25 percent of the US$2-billion minimum investment required to get a casino licence.
The news agency reported that the proposal, if passed, would help an entity called Sun Group realise a casino project in Van Don, as the developer’s disbursed capital at Van Don International Airport and for a road called the Van Don-Ha Long-Mong Cai Expressway, would be counted.
Vietnam News Agency reported that Van Don International Airport had a total investment of VND7.5 trillion (US$322 million) and went into operation in December 2018. The 60-kilometre (37.3-mile) stretch of the Ha Long-Van Don Expressway had a total investment of VND12 trillion, and the construction of the stretch of the Van Don-Mong Cai Expressway was due to be complete in 2021, added the news outlet.
The ministry’s data quoted by the news outlet also showed total revenue of the existing licensed casinos in Vietnam more than doubled in the past three years, from VND1.19 trillion in 2017 to VND2.5 trillion in 2019. The contribution to the government’s budget rose from VND645 billion to VND1.34 trillion, according to the figures reported by Vietnam News Agency.
So far, one casino resort – the Corona Resort and Casino, on Phu Quoc island – is said to be the only gaming venue in Vietnam to be allowed to offer gambling services to economically-qualified locals, under a long-flagged, three-year national pilot scheme. The casino scheme planned for Van Don is also expected to allow eligible locals to gamble.
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