The Saigon Securities Inc (SSI) is optimistic that the casino industry in Vietnam will thrive when the locals are allowed to gamble.
According to the Institute of Regional Sustainable Development, the 2014 revenue from eight casinos in Vietnam reached nearly VND1.38trn and the government collected VND336bn (USD14.7m) from taxes.
Donaco International Ltd from Australia made a profit of USD3.7m from over 40 gambling tables. The casinos wholly depend on foreign gamblers and the biggest profits are from the Chinese. Crowne Casino in Danang City is well known for its VIP Chinese clients. During peak season, 130 direct flights bring clients from China to Danang every week. However, this source of clients is not stable.
According to Bloomberg, the casino ban for locals causes Vietnam to lose USD800m a year to other countries. The situation may get better after the government lifted the ban this March, despite strict regulations are applied for the locals such as a copy of personal income tax declaration to prove that their monthly income is VND10m (USD440).
However, the plan to let locals play in casinos hasn’t been implemented as the Ministry of Finance hasn’t issued any directives.
The on-going Vingroup casino project in Phu Quoc is expecting to attract 1.8 million visitors this year. But Vingroup hasn’t announced any detail about the projects including the operators and machines. Meanwhile, Sun Group also has plans to invest in a resort complex in Van Don, Quang Ninh Province.
Ha Ton Vinh, CEO of Stellar Management Corporation, said casino industry had made huge profits for countries such as Singapore or the US. Japan is also considering to use casinos to boost the economy.
„The casino havens are in Singapore and Macau but Vietnam still has a chance to attract players with USD2bn investment. Entertainment complex with casinos can boost both the number of local and international visitors,“ he said.
Photo: CBR Investment AG