Vietnam to Lift Locals Casino Ban on March 15thJanuary 23, 2017 1:00 pm
On March 15th, the Vietnamese government will start a three-year trial in which, for the first time, the country’s citizens will be allowed to enter and gamble at its domestic casinos. If after this period, the situation is assessed to have not caused any significant uptick in gambling addiction, money laundering, or and other type of illicit activities, then the Vietnamese people will likely to be able to enjoy access to domestic casinos for the foreseeable future.
“After three years… the government will decide whether to continue Vietnamese people’s access to casinos,” explained a statement released on the government website.
The change in stance has been laid out in a 50-page decree released by the government, which sets out a number of stipulations concerning the law. For a start, the measure only applies to those citizens over the age of 21 whose monthly income is at least VND10 million (US$443). They will subsequently be expected to pay a fee of 1 million dong ($44) for a 24-hour long access period to the casino, or 25 million dong ($1,110) for a month-long pass.
In the meantime, only those casinos who have had a total capital investment of more than US$2 billion, including non-gaming facilities, will be permitted to grant access to Vietnamese gamblers. Thus far, this will apply to just two casinos within the country of 94 million people, both of which are currently under construction, with the rest of Vietnam’s casinos mostly of a small-scale and therefore not eligible under the scheme.
As well as limiting the number of Vietnamese players travelling to neighboring countries, such as Cambodia, the new directive allowing locals to gamble is also likely to boost the interest of foreign operators looking to invest in the country’s casino market. This is especially important considering the high tax burden imposed on casinos of a 35% consumption tax, and a 20% corporate income tax.