vietnamIndustry experts have said that the location chosen for Vietnam’s proposed casinos could be the deciding factor for the success of its gaming industry.

Vietnam’s Ministry of Finance is reportedly working on a draft decree aimed at developing the country’s gaming industry.

In a statement, Grant Govertsen Union Gaming Securities analyst said,

Depending on whether or not the government is willing to settle for less, and in the context of the current China macro, it is hard to imagine a scenario where there will be significant international interest on the part of the major players… unless an IR [integrated resort] license (with local allowed) is available for downtown Hanoi or Ho Chi Minh City.

Discussing the location strategy for casinos, Govertsen has said that a north, central, south and southwest (Phu Quoc island) plan would be ideal. In case the government decides to issue licenses for locations outside major cities, then Govertsen believes that a location near Da Nang for a central casino license would make the most business sense given that it is a preferred haunt of Vietnam’s elite. Other suggested locations include Hai Phong or Ha Long for north (Hanoi City being close) and Ho Tram in south.

In addition to right locations, the brokerage firm has stated that the gaming laws will also need to lower the minimum investment requirement and a reduction of gaming taxes to make the industry competitive and get major international casino operators to invest in Vietnam.

The minimum investment required is currently fixed at US$4 billion and gaming taxes are fixed at 35 percent.

Stellar Group CEO and advisor to the Vietnamese government on the matter, Augustine Ha Ton Vinh has stated that if the government decides to amend its gaming laws, then Vietnamese nationals are likely to be allowed to gamble as well. However, the new laws would impose criteria such as a minimum gambling age and income levels to ensure that gambling doesn’t cause social concerns in the country. According to Mr. Vinh, the new set of gaming rules is expected to be released in the first half of 2016.

Govertsen believes that if the new law prohibits locals from gambling or the proposed casino locations are fixed outside major cities then it would attract a completely different set of casino developers. Possible developers could include the likes Bloomberry, Silver Heritage, Donaco, Macau Legend, MelcoLot, NagaCorp, Summit Ascent, Suncity Group, and Universal Entertainment.  Should this be the case, then it is also highly likes that these gambling operators would want to limit their investments to less than US$1 billion in Vietnam’s casino projects.

Categories: Casino News

Posted on: 15th January 2016 by: Gary Beachley