The Republic of Korea (RoK)’s G.O.Max I&D has asked authorities in Vietnam’s Vinh Phuc Province for the green-light to build a US$1.5-billion racecourse, golf course and luxury villa complex.
The racecourse will cover 200 hectares (494 acres) and racing will take place three times per week, Vietnam’s Dau Tu Online reported on September 17, quoting Jung Young Jin, G.O.Max I&D’s manager of strategy and management.
The developer also plans to establish betting shops in 54 provinces and cities across Vietnam and operate an online betting site.
The Korean company hopes to attract 85% of the project’s investment from partners and investors.
Construction of the complex is expected to take 36 months if permission is granted by the local government.
G.O.Max I&D aims to make US$972 million in annual revenue and contribute US$100 million per year to the state budget during the first five years of operations.
The Korean firm previously submitted a proposal to build a racecourse complex worth US$570 million in 2005. Although the project received support from local authorities at the time, it was not able to move forward because Vietnam had not established regulations to manage the betting industry.
At that time, the Ministry of Finance told the company that the local government was working on a directive regarding betting on sports, and the project would not be considered until the regulation was introduced.
G.O.Max I&D will continue to wait for the directive, which has not been issued yet, and will be ready to kick off the project at any time, Jung said.
It remains unclear when the regulation will be considered and passed by legislators. It has not been included for consideration at the ongoing session of the National Assembly's Standing Committee. The committee has the mandate to finalize a list of bills to be considered at the upcoming session of the National Assembly, Vietnam's legislature.
In July, Vietnam’s Dai Nam Joint Stock Company said it plans to invest US$100 million on a racecourse complex in the Dai Nam Tourism Park in the southern province of Binh Duong.
Hanoi Tourist Corporation and Korea’s Global Consultant Network., LTD. have recently signed an investment agreement for a US$500-million racecourse in Hanoi and are awaiting the green light from authorities, according to the Hanoi People's Committee newspaper.
The Phu Tho racecourse, which opened in 1932 in Ho Chi Minh City as the country's first and only horse racetrack, closed in 2011.