27th March 2017
After years of waiting, it seems that the Vietnamese Government is willing to “flirt” with sports betting and casinos to local Vietnamese gamblers for a three year pilot period. The Government is not only catering to foreign investors and local demand, it will also open a door to collection of taxes, much of which are currently lost to casinos in Cambodia and also illegal betting syndicates in Vietnam.
The Government recently passed Decree No. 03/2017/ND-CP which regulates casino operations in Vietnam, although the implementing regulations are still awaited. It is thought that there will be three casinos authorized to allow local Vietnamese gamers to enter and play. These being Van Doan in the north; Ho Tram Grand in the south, and Phu Quoc Island. Vietnamese who wish to enter casinos must be over the age of 21, have clean police records and have a monthly income in excess of VND 10 million (approx. US$440). Gamblers will be required to pay an entry fee of VND 1 million per session or VND 25 million per month. In addition, gamblers can be refused entry if there are complaints from family members.
How these regulations and requirements will be enforced will hopefully be clearly addressed in the “implementing regulations”.
Also recently enacted is Decree 06/2017/ND-CP, which makes sports betting legal in Vietnam. We will see the first official horse racing being held at Managua on March 25th, roughly 2.5 hours outside of Ho Chi Minh City . Again only those over 21 will be allowed to bet and bookmakers cannot be located near schools or public venues for children.
Several additional projects are pending licensing for horse racing, cycling (velodrome), and a greyhound dog racing stadium in the seaside town of Vung Tau.