Vietnam’s Ministry of Finance has reportedly submitted a report to the government’s Party Personnel Committee requesting the extension of a pilot program under which locals are permitted to gamble until 2024 and the addition of two new casinos to the program.
Originally proposed in March, local media is reporting that the Ministry has now made its request official with a final decision on expanding the pilot program to me made by the Politburo.
First announced in 2017, the pilot program was originally planned to run for three years, starting in 2019, with two casinos designated for locals to gamble. However, only one of those, Corona Resort & Casino in Phú Quốc, is currently operational with the other, located in the rural district of Van Don in Quang Ninh Province, yet to open.
According to a report by VietnamNet, the Ministry of Finance wants to extend the pilot program until 2024 due to the impact of COVID-19 on the initial trial period, and to add in additional casinos located in Da Nang City and Khanh Hoa Province.
The two locations are deemed prime locations to aid tourism recovery with VND16 trillion (US$695 million) having already been poured into the related resort project in Da Nang City and around VND 25.7 trillion (US$1.1 billion) into the Khanh Hoa Province project, owned by hospitality giant VinPearl and including a hotel, amusement park, golf course and convention center.
Although Corona Resort & Casino has now been open for three years, its performance has been difficult to assess given that much of that time has been impacted by the global COVID-19 pandemic.
Figures from the Ministry of Finance show that the Phu Quoc casino had welcomed 240,560 players as of 31 December 2021 of which 65.5% were Vietnamese locals. Accumulated revenue since opening was VND3.22 trillion (US$138 million) with tax payments of VND1.73 trillion (US$74 million).