The Government of Vietnam is willing to make local casino resorts work. However, to make them work, the competent authorities first have to assess whether the casino projects could be viable.
During the Covid-19 pandemic, the country’s Government decided to exempt the Corona Resort & Casino from the existing restrictions and allow local players to take part in gambling. Vietnam was interested in seeking whether there is a local demand for gambling, and if that was the case, what amount can be contributed by Vietnamese gamblers to the country’s economy, which has already been affected by the coronavirus pandemic outbreak.
The pilot program of the Corona Resort & Casino brought revenue of about VN$141 billion, which is approximately $5.9 million in revenue. This is the overall revenue gathered over the full three years of the pilot program that was rolled out in January 2019, before the beginning of the coronavirus pandemic. The casino has submitted a detailed report to explain its appeal to local customers and to what extent.
A second casino resort property, which was also supposed to attract gamblers from Vietnam, has not yet started operation in the province of Quang Ninh Province.
Taking these results in mind, the Van Don district-based property may be unwilling to make a move on its initial promise. The overall revenue of the Kien Giang Province, where the Corona Resort & Casino is based, was worth about VN$2.7 trillion (or $113 million), with the tax revenue paid to the Government amounting to VN$1.7 trillion (about $71 million).
Vietnam Could Place the Foundations of Asian Gambling Hub
The country has not abandoned the idea of establishing casino venues where local players are accepted. An initial plan to end the aforementioned pilot scheme in 2022 has been extended by two more years and is expected to run through 2024. For the time being, the local demand is clearly small but analysts believe there are still good chances that the demand may improve in the future.
Apart from that, providing local people with the option to gamble in some of the country’s casinos could be a good way to deal with illegal gambling operators, or to support the country’s economy through the creation of additional jobs or some fresh revenue that is set to be generated. The 5% generated by Vietnamese people may necessarily indicate the amount that could be generated by other provinces.
The country’s population density and local marketing appeal will contribute to the sector’s development by encouraging local people to access casinos and try their luck there. Vietnam is also one of the destinations that are rumored to host future projects of some international gambling giants such as MGM Resorts, Wynn Resorts, Las Vegas Sands, etc.
Some experts believe that the strong regulatory changes in the special administrative region of Macau could be a reason important enough for some gambling companies to consider the establishment of a new hub in Asia, hoping to avoid more serious regulations that could disrupt their businesses.