Vietnam’s Ministry of Finance requested the extension of the country’s pilot casino program, a VietnamNet report has it. The report also claims that the Ministry requested adding two more casinos to the program.
The Ministry Reportedly Submitted an Official Request
Vietnam launched its three-year trial in 2019, temporarily allowing locals to play games of chance. The trial saw the country allow two casinos to offer gambling to the Vietnamese audience, although only one of them is operational at the moment. Three years later, this trial period is about to expire, making the future of Vietnamese gambling uncertain.
The Ministry of Finance first considered an extension of the trial period this March. However, now it has submitted an official request to the Party Personnel Committee, according to the report. The Ministry of Finance’s justification for the request is the negative impact of the COVID-19 pandemic. Because of the outbreak, the Ministry was unable to properly assess how casinos would fare in the country. The Ministry, therefore, argues that the program should be extended by at least two years and that two new casinos should be added.
The Pandemic Impacted the Trial Period
Currently, Vietnam’s only operational casino is the Corona Resort & Casino in Phú Quốc. The second casino allowed to offer gambling products to locals is Van Don in Quang Ninh Province. However, the latter is yet to open.
As mentioned, the Vietnamese government is inconclusive about the results of its casino trial. This is mainly because the Corona Resort & Casino was heavily impacted by the pandemic. As a result, the casino performed suboptimally and earned only about $138 million
In recent reports, the Ministry of Finance revealed that the gambling venue attracted about 240,560 players. It also noted that only two-thirds of the visitors (65.5%) were Vietnamese, with the rest being foreign visitors.
More Casinos May Sprout in the Country
The two additional casinos that the Ministry of Finance allegedly proposed would be located in Da Nang City and the Khanh Hoa Province.
The aforementioned locations have the potential to help Vietnam’s tourism recover from the negative effects of the pandemic. Beyond the alleged casino plans, the government has already invested more than half a billion in Da Nang City and over a billion in the Khanh Hoa Province. The money went to support notable resorts in the two regions, helping them build an infrastructure that will attract foreign visitors.
Another recent proposal was to add casinos to five-star hotels in Ho Chi Minh City. Local activists pitched the idea, claiming that it would boost the city’s nightlife and pump up the economy.