Vietnam’s first and so far only casino in which locals are allowed to gamble, the ironically named Corona Resort and Casino in Phú Quốc, was attracting more visitation from foreign guests than locals in the months prior to the COVID-19 pandemic.
The insight forms part of an in-depth look at Corona Resort and Casino in the April edition of Inside Asian Gaming’s monthly magazine, to be released in the coming days.
According to figures supplied by the casino’s operator, Netherlands-based Upffinity Gaming Management, Corona Resort attracted a total of 105,200 visitors through all of 2019, around 300 daily, of which foreigners accounted for 55% of the total.
Notably, the foreigner count grew as the year progressed, with Vietnamese having constituted a majority of visitors in the early months before an increasing number of overseas guests began arriving as the year progressed. Foreigners comprised 62% of guests in December 2019, with Korea, mainland China, Malaysia and Russia the primary source countries.
The Vietnam government announced in 2017 that it would run a pilot program for up to three casinos to trial locals play, starting from the opening date of the first authorized casino. To this point, Corona Resort, opened in January 2019, and another being developed in Van Don have been selected with only Corona having opened its doors.
Under the pilot program, Vietnamese citizens who are over 21 and able to show monthly income of VND10 million (US$431) can play in designated casinos. They must also pay an entry tax of VND1 million per 24 hours.
Corona Resort and Casino was one of a number of Vietnam casinos to confirm earlier this week that they would shut down for a period of two weeks in order to help slow the spread of COVID-19.