BackStories » Vietnam » New Proposal Aims to Lift Ban on Local Gamblers, Boost Casino Investment in Vietnam

After seven years, a draft decree allowing local Vietnamese to gamble in casinos has finally been submitted to the government for deliberation.

Started in 2009 by the Ministry of Finance, the proposal has drawn plenty of public scrutiny despite favorable response among foreign investors in the casino business, according to VietnamNet.

“We hope that this will be the last draft, [yet] already we have seen a lot of revisions before its submission in June,” Nguyen Huy Dat, deputy director of the Ministry of Finance’s Lottery and Gambling Division, told the news source.

Under current rules, only foreign passport holders are allowed in local casinos. Vietnamese nationals with a penchant for gambling usually turn to neighboring Cambodia’s casinos.

Investors have been tiptoeing around the decree for years, as the government will not consider greenlighting new casino projects unless the draft is approved. Beyond deterring new casino businesses from setting up shop in Vietnam, an estimated US$800 million in revenue is lost annually due to the ban on local gamblers, driving them to spend money elsewhere.

If approved, the new policy will open the door of Vietnam’s current and future casinos in Hoi An and Phu Quoc to everyone, although not without several regulations, such as requiring visitors to have a minimum monthly income of at least VND15 million.

[Photo via Casino Vesuvius]

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