Vietnam is likely to expand its pilot program by assessing whether locals can gamble responsibly in casinos.
It was originally due to end later this year, but there are indications it could now remain in effect until 2024.
After lawmakers approved the program in 2017, the program was launched two years later, but, due to the pandemic and the consequent restriction of activity, authorities decided that they had no not been able to collect enough data to determine if people are able to visit casinos and gamble without becoming addicted later.
Two properties have been selected to participate in the trial program. The first was the Phuoc Corona Resort and Casino in Phu Quoc. This opened in 2019, but was forced to close due to the pandemic. Figures indicate that of the more than 240,000 visitors who passed through its doors until September last year, 65% were local Vietnamese players.
However, things did not go as planned at the other selected site, in the Van Don economic zone in Quang Ninh province for the simple reason that the casino there is still not open so that it should have started three years ago. .
Like many countries, the global health crisis has had a major impact on Vietnam’s economy, and domestic and international tourism has been severely affected. Given this, it is considered too early to draw definitive conclusions from the pilot program, particularly given the limited data available.
Of course, while land-based casinos across the planet have been forced to shut down, sometimes for months, during the pandemic, the same has not been true for their online counterparts.
They’ve actually thrived as millions have turned to them as sources of entertainment and a way to ease the stress of lockdown and, even though the health crisis is receding, many of them continue to thrive as these $1 Minimum Deposit Casinos because so many people have discovered the ease and convenience of online gambling.
Now, the Department of Finance is considering adding two more sites to the program, giving decision-making markets many more options for sharing data.
One area under consideration is Sun World Ba Na Hill in Da Nang, which is already a popular tourist destination, although it currently lacks a full-scale casino. Opening one there would make it an even more attractive location for Vietnamese and foreign visitors.
The other property on the ministry’s radar is on Hon Tre Island in Nha Trang. This is another popular resort and is operated by Vinpearl, a hotel company with interests throughout the country.
Vinpearl has reportedly already invested US$1.2 billion in property amenities, but has yet to see a decent return on that investment due to the pandemic. Including it in the pilot program could provide it with a timely financial injection.
The ministry has already turned down a third candidate who wanted to be included in the program, Binh Thuan in the Dai Dhong Valley, on the grounds that he was not a good candidate due to the lack of international tourism in the area.