Vietnamese locals will be free to gamble in the country’s casinos from 1 December 2017 – but exactly which casinos are permitted to grant entry remains unclear.
The latest circular from Vietnam’s Ministry of Finance, issued late last week, stipulates 1 December as the official start date for a long-awaited three-year trial that will see locals allowed to enter its casinos for the first time subject to certain strict requirements.
They include proof that they earn a monthly income of at least VND10 million (US$440) or are taxed at “Level 3” or higher. Casinos must either open books or issue electronic cards to monitor locals who enter the property, with the monitoring book or card required to be archived for a minimum of five years to allow authorities to review and evaluate the trial scheme.
Locals will also be required to buy a ticket for entry, with the proceeds to be paid via tax to the State Treasury. A previous circular suggested the entry fee would be VND1 million for a single ticket or VND25 million for a monthly pass although new Circular No 102/2017/TT-BTC does not clarify the amount.
The circular also leaves a number of questions unanswered including exactly which casinos – if any – will be permitted to grant entry to locals. Two casinos, one in Van Don Economic Zone in Quang Ninh province and another on Phu Quoc island in Vietnam’s south-west, were previously announced as the only properties that would take part in the three-year locals trial but neither has been built yet.
The Grand Ho Tram Strip (pictured) is the country’s largest integrated resort by amount invested, but there has been no indication by officials that it is being considered.
Vietnam’s Finance Ministry also announced last week that 1 December 2017 would be the start date for a five-year trial on betting on international football, horse racing and greyhound racing but similarly failed to identify which organizations would be allowed to offer these services.