Vietnam’s casinos posted aggregate revenue of VND1.4 trillion (US$61.3 million) in 2014, according to a report by the country’s Institute for Regional Sustainable Development, reported local media.
The country’s casinos paid VND339 billion in taxes last year, showed the report announced at a conference in Vietnam’s capital, Hanoi. The report said Vietnam has currently eight foreigner-only casinos.
The Institute of Regional Sustainable Development – part of the Vietnam Academy of Social Sciences – also found that there is an average of 200 Vietnamese people crossing the border in the southern province of Tay Ninh to enter Cambodia for gambling on a daily basis. The number rose to between 700 and 800 people on weekends, local media reported.
Locals are currently barred from playing in Vietnamese casinos. Vietnam’s government is reportedly considering a draft decree that if enacted might allow local citizens to enter casinos under certain conditions. One possible condition is an income test. Another suggested barrier is to impose an entry levy on Vietnamese citizens in the manner of Singapore.
Allowing locals to play – even under restricted conditions – is likely to boost the interest of foreign investors in the country, local and international media have reported.
According to brokerage CLSA Ltd, “there are currently six casinos [in Vietnam] but around another 40 ‘gaming clubs’ which contain slots and other electronic games”.
“Vietnam has great potential, although there are areas for improvement before it becomes a truly attractive gaming market,” CLSA analysts Aaron Fischer, Marcus Liu and Jon Oh said in a report issued in September. “The great potential is Vietnam’s fast-growing, relatively young population of 90 million with a high propensity to gamble,” they added.
The brokerage additionally said that Vietnam’s government “appears to be in favour of large-scale integrated resorts”.
The Ho Tram Resort (pictured) is currently the largest casino in Vietnam and there are plans to expand the property. There are also plans for a casino resort in Vietnam’s Quang Nam province, a project by Chow Tai Fook Enterprises Ltd and VinaCapital group.
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"I am not going to speculate on what the [casino licence refreshment] tender requirements would be. I have full confidence and faith in the Macau government to treat everyone fairly"
Wilfred Wong Ying Wai
President and chief operating officer of Macau-based casino operator Sands China