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About Vietnam Gaming
Gambling in Vietnam
Vietnam has had a slow and rocky path to major casino development, but the coast finally looks clear for Integrated resorts (IR) to come into the country and for locals to finally be able to gamble without crossing the border. Up until a decree was finally issued in January 2017, after about a decade of waiting, only people with foreign passports could play in Vietnam's casinos and e-gaming clubs. Locals have had permission to gamble in the casinos since the decree became official in March, but as of late July, casinos were not admitting them because operators have not been given guidance from the Ministry of Public Security.
Investors are moving full steam ahead in Vietnam. Several large scale projects were already in the works before the decree was issued. The Grand Ho Tram Strip opened its doors in July 2013, with a casino, 541-room hotel, and amenities. An 18-hole golf course was opened in late 2015. As of mid-2017, a second tower called The Beach Club was under construction adding another 559 rooms, and it was announced that Phase III would break ground before the end of the year adding 164 condominiums and 8 penthouses in a 12-story tower along with 44 villas on the beach. As of June 2017, developers had already deployed and committed more than US$1.1 billion in the project.
Further large scale developments in the works include the $4 billion Hoiana, former working name, Nam Hoi An Casino Resort in Quang Nam Province (Chow Tai Fook, VinaCapital, Sun City) is scheduled to open in the first quarter of 2019. The first phase of the project will include a casino resort with 200 suites, a Rosewood spa resort comprising 75 villas and 25 premier residences, and a Robert Trent Jones II golf course. The project will continue to be developed over the next 10-15 years to include additional hotels, lifestyle and residential zones, a convention center and other facilities.
Vietnam ranks low in gross gaming revenue (GGR) for Asian countries with legal gambling. According to government reports, only US$62.3 million in gross gaming revenue was posted in 2014, the last year for which full figures are available. Gaming is taxed at 35%, however, the effective rate is lower as junket commissions are deductible. GGR worldwide for 2014 topped US$450 billion. Academicians, scholars, and analysts have projected Vietnamese gross gaming revenues to reach US$3 billion to US$6 billion a year when the market is opened up to more casinos, and when locals are able to gamble freely.
The casinos and gambling clubs of Vietnam
There are currently 7 licensed casinos and 23 electronic gaming clubs in Vietnam. The licensed casinos are able to offer true casino table games such as baccarat, blackjack, roulette, craps, pai gow, and sic-bo (tai sai) along with slots and other electronic games. The clubs are restricted to electronic or mechanical games that do not require a live dealer, croupier, or box man. All casinos and e-gaming clubs are required to operate from 5-star hotels, and none accept play from Vietnamese citizens unless they reside overseas and hold a foreign passport. This requirement leaves over 90 million people without gaming venues at home, so they travel to gamble. Most Vietnamese, rich and poor, go to nearby Cambodian or Laotian border casinos, those with plenty of discretionary income go further, such as to Jeju Island in South Korea, Singapore, or Macau.
The seven licensed casinos in Vietnam include Ho Tram Resort Casino in Ba Ria Vũng Tàu; Phoenix International Club in Bac Ninh; Aristo International Hotel & Casino in Lào Cai; Crown International Club next to the Crowne Plaza in Đà Nẵng; Royal International Gaming Club in Hạ Long, and Doson Casino Resort in Hải Phòng City. Not yet operational is the Nam Hoi An Casino Resort. All of these casino resorts feature live dealers offering traditional and regional table games, slots and other electronic gaming devices, casual and fine dining, and upscale accommodations with all the amenities you would expect from a 5-star hotel.
The largest venue in Vietnam is the Grand Ho Tram on the beach near Vung Tau. The Grand Ho Tram has about 100,000 square feet of gambling space in the 4 to 5-star resort that includes a fitness center, a spa tub and sauna, several fine dining venues, and a nightclub among other upscale amenities. Another major development is the opening of the new Aristo International Hotel & Casino (formerly Lao Cai International) on the border with Yunnan Province, China by Donaco International Limited. Donaco is headed up by the two brothers, Lim, (managing director Joey Lim Keong Yew) the nephews of Tan Sri Lim Kok Thay, the Chairman and Chief of Genting Group. According to Mr. Lim, 99% of their business comes from China.
Danang's Crown International Games Club (formerly Silver Shores Casino) is a small, privately owned beachfront casino that has also emerged as one of the most popular sites for wealthy Chinese to place VIP level bets. Crown is owned by Chinese company Hui Kong and is one of the seven licensed full casinos in Vietnam. Industry executives estimate monthly VIP turnover has increased over the past year to $3 billion a month, roughly double that of the highly successful Solaire in the Philippines, Genting Highlands in Malaysia, and the bustling NagaWorld in Cambodia – all properties with much larger footprints than the Danang casino. The resort complex plans to double the number of rooms as part of a $600 million redevelopment plan, which will include a JW Marriott-branded hotel, a duty-free shopping mall, and a casino expansion.
The Aristo International Hotel & Casino in Lào Cai, is located in the far Northeastern part of the country on the border of China's Yunnan province, and services a mostly Chinese clientele, over 90%. Donaco International, who own and operate the casino, announced plans this year to rebuild a small airport there in order to increase tourism and develop the mountainous area into more of a tourist hub.
Electronic gaming clubs
More than 20 upscale hotels in Vietnam feature electronic gaming clubs with slots and electronic table games. Some are in, or just off the hotel lobby, and others are on second or third-floor areas that include karaoke bars and lounges, as well as private karaoke suites. About half of the clubs are in Ho Chi Minh City (Saigon) with the capital city, Hanoi housing another half dozen. The rest are scattered, situated mostly along the coast between the two major cities.
Lottery, Parimutuel and other gambling in Vietnam
Organized lottery games have occurred in Vietnam since 1936 and officially since 1946. Binh Duong Lottery LTP Trading Printing Company was established in 1979 and conglomerated with Song Be Binh Duong Lottery in 2000. On December, 5th 2011, the Minister of Finance established the state-owned Vietnam Lottery Company (Vietlott). The lottery came of age in July this year when it offered a minimum jackpot of VND12 billion (US$535,000). The lowest possible jackpot for the first ‘Mega 6/45’ game was 8x the highest prize of traditional Vietnamese lotteries. The lottery is run by Vietlott and an indirect subsidiary of Malaysia-based firm Berjaya Corp Bhd (Bcorp) who garnered an 18-year investment license to operate the lottery in January.
Ho Chi Minh City’s Phu Tho Horse Racecourse was closed in 2011 to make way for an athletic complex. This leaves only Sân vận động Lam Sơn Greyhound stadium in Vũng Tàu for live race betting on greyhounds. The track was owned and operated by Success Dragon of Hong Kong, better known for their Macau operations. And although the company was looking into expanding into other Vietnamese markets to include parimutuel facilities, off-track-betting venues, and at least one e-gaming club, in June 2017 they announced the termination of four racing deals due to over zealous regulation that included betting caps of VND1,000,000 (US$44).
In June 2016, the Australian Golden Turf Club Limited Company received a license for a $100 million investment in a racecourse in south-central Phu Yen province. The land has already been cleared on the 134-hectare project site and permission given for groundbreaking. The venue is expected to open by 2019.
Vietnam Casinos and Gambling in Summary
Like most Asian countries trying to get a piece of the Asian gaming pie, Vietnam is in a state of flux and growth as the government struggles with perceived moral issues balanced by the desire to generate tax revenues and grow their service economies, as well as stem "currency bleed" by citizens who still take their gambling over the border.
If you plan a trip to Ho Chi Minh City (Saigon) or any of the other areas with casinos or gaming clubs, you will find luxurious accommodations and VIP treatment. The legendary Vietnamese hospitality is prevalent everywhere, and there are currently six casinos offering the games you would expect to find in Macau or Las Vegas. For now, the “biggest game in town” is to be found at Ho Tram, soon to be joined by Hoi An, and possibly Laguna Lăng Cô and even one or two more integrated resorts. Much still depends on the long-awaited Casino Decree.
Vietnam Casinos and Gambling Facts
Vietnam is a country in East Asia with legal gambling.
There are 18 cities with gambling facilities in Vietnam which have 39 legal gambling facilities available in total.
The types of gambling available in Vietnam are: casinos, greyhound tracks.
The largest gambling city in Vietnam is Ho Chi Minh City with 11 gambling facilities, 13 tables games, 290 gaming, slot, and video poker machines.
The largest casino in the entire country of Vietnam is Corona Resort & Casino Phu Quoc which is located in Phú Quốc. Corona Resort & Casino Phu Quoc has 100 table games, 1,000 gaming and video poker machines.
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- Bac Ninh Casinos 1
- Chu Lai Casinos 1
- Cu Du Village Casinos 1
- Hạ Long Casinos 1
- Ha Long Bay Casinos 1
- Haiphong City Casinos 1
- Hanoi Casinos 8
- Ho Chi Minh City Casinos 11
- Huế Casinos 1
- Lào Cai Casinos 1
- Mong Cai Casinos 1
- Nha Trang Casinos 1
- Phan Thiết Casinos 1
- Phú Lộc Casinos 1
- Phú Quốc Casinos 1
- Vân Đồn Casinos 1
- Vũng Tàu Casinos 4
- Đà Nẵng Casinos 2
- Licensed Casinos: 39
- Horse Tracks: 0
- Licensed Bingo: 0
- Lotteries: 0
- Table games: 483
- Slot machines: 2,692
- Poker tables: 4
- Simulcasting: 0
- Greyhound Tracks: 1
- Cities with Gambling: 18
- Sportsbetting Parlours: 0
- Casino Hotels: 28
- Venues: 69
- Restaurants: 105
- Minimum Bet: 0.01
- Maximum Bet: 20000
- Total Casino sq/ft: 405,880 sq/ft
- Total Convention sq/ft: 539,533 sq/ft