New Decree of the Ministry of Finance will allow local Vietnamese to enter designated casinos located at The Van Don and Phu Quoc integrated resorts on a trial basis.
Following the ruling party’s decision on the new gaming industry, the Ministry of Finance has come up with a new draft decree which is much more realistic than previous draft versions in 2013 and June and September-October 2016. The new version was drafted based on the Party’s decision and covered all the issues of major interest to investors and operators.
Prof. Augustine Ha Ton Vinh, Senior Advisor to the Van Don Special Economic Zone and Integrated Resorts, emphasized some key points including:
1. MOF divides the gaming industry into two levels, large casinos with US$2 billion in investment, and small casinos with any investment below the $2 billion investment level.
2. The draft decree made it clear local Vietnamese, 21 years and above making around US$500 per month in salary, without criminal records, and no objection from family members, i.e. spouses, parents, children, will be allowed to enter casinos.
3. The Van Don and Phu Quoc integrated resorts are designated locations for local Vietnamese. There will be a trial period of 3 years from the date they receive the gaming license.
4. The gaming license will be for a period of 20 years with a one-time non-renewable extension of 10 years.
5. Investors or operators have to commit a minimum of US$2 billion for each integrated resort and a 50 percent disbursement, or $1 billion has to be made before a gaming license is granted.
6. For each US$10 million in disbursed investment, investors can operate one gaming table and 10 electronic gaming or slot machines.
Now that the Party leaders have decided on the future of the Vietnam gaming industry and the next steps, I believe MOF will soon release the final gaming decree, possibly in the next few months.
Text: Augustine Ha Ton Vinh