|Will casino operations be promoted in Vietnam?(Photo: riverscasino.com)
Casino tables and gaming machines are currently in operation at 43 hotels and resorts around Vietnam, with the size of the market doubling since a legal framework on casino operations was issued.
The casino sector, however, has yet to meet its socioeconomic potential, according to VAFIE President Nguyen Mai.
In the eyes of investors, Vietnam boasts huge potential in casinos given its population of nearly 100 million and rising incomes.
Vietnamese people spend some US$3 billion a year on lotteries and US$1 billion on gambling overseas. The country also attracts millions of tourists each year, and many would like the opportunity to gamble at casinos.
The Government issued Decree No 03/2017/ND-CP in 2017 on the casino business, which stipulates that Vietnamese citizens earning a monthly income of at least VND10 million (US$440) would be eligible to gamble at a casino.
The regulation, however, creates hassles for many domestic tourists as few remember to bring documents proving their income. Combined with high taxes imposed on the casino business, the relatively small number of eligible gamblers is an issue for many investors.
VAFIE has put forward the establishment of a national council on the field, which would be under the auspices of a Deputy Prime Minister. The council will be tasked with counselling the Prime Minister on institutions, policies, legislation, and the management of casinos and similar gaming.
It would also review and grant permission to suitable investment projects and keep a close watch on their operations to mitigate any social evils.