The Hanoitimes - The Ministry of Planning and Investment (MPI) has proposed the Government give pilot permission for Vietnamese citizens to gamble in casino in a casino in Phu Quoc, Vietnam`s largest island in the southernmost province of Kien Giang.
According to the proposal, local players can enter the Bai Dai Integrated Resort Project in Phu Quoc. This pilot plan will last three years from the date when a casino business gets a license to accept Vietnamese players.
According to the Law on Investment, casino is a conditional business and needs approval from the prime minister.
The decision allowing Vietnamese citizens to play at casinos is expected to contribute to local socio-economic development in general and tourism development in Phu Quoc in particular, according to the local authority.
Additionally, the move will help refine the legal and institutional framework on casino business.
Last January, Government Decree No.03 providing a legal framework for casino businesses took effect.
This was seen as the government's effort to step by step legalize casino businesses and grant permission for locals to play at casinos in a 3-year pilot scheme. Previously, only foreign passport holders were allowed to gamble in the country's 30 casinos and electronic gaming parlors.
Meanwhile, Decree No.03 will allow local Vietnamese citizens who are 21 or older and who have a regular income of at least VND10 million (US$441) per month to access and play at Vietnam-based casinos.
In order to access a casino in Vietnam, Vietnamese players must buy an entrance ticket at the cost of VND1 million (US$44) per 24 consecutive hours, or VND25 million (US$1,100) per month. The entire proceeds from ticket sales shall go to the provincial budget where the casino is located.
Recently, Prime Minister Nguyen Xuan Phuc has given permission for Laguna Lang Co in Thua Thien-Hue province to operate a casino, following the decision of the investor Bayan Tree Holdings (Singapore) to raise the project's investment capital to US$2 billion.
In 2016, the US$4-billion South Hoi An integrated casino resort located in the central province of Quang Nam started constructions through a collaboration among VinaCapital, Chow Tai Fook Enterprises (Hong Kong) and SunCity Group (Macau). The first phase of the project is expected to be launched by early 2019.
Once completed, it will be the second-largest casino in Vietnam after the Grand Ho Tram Strip resort and casino complex located in the southern province of Ba Ria-Vung Tau.
Additionally, there are other 03 billion-dollar casino projects in the pipeline in Van Don, Bac Van Phong and Phu Quoc, which will likely become the first three special economic zones (SEZs) in the country.
The parliament on Monday postponed a vote on a bill on the three SEZs due to concern over incentives and land lease period.