From 2019 to 2021, Vietnamese nationals spent VND141 billion (US$5.96 million) gambling at a casino on Phu Quoc Island off the coast of Kien Giang Province in southern Vietnam, according to the Ministry of Finance.
In a report on the management of casinos in Vietnam sent to the central government, the ministry revealed that Corona Casino, part of the Corona Resort & Casino complex in Phu Quoc City, served 240,560 guests in the period with over 65.5 percent of them being Vietnamese.
In particular, it welcomed nearly 183,600 bettors in 2019 and 2020, and 71,200 last year, with Vietnamese accounting for 57.35 and 91 percent, respectively.
Corona Casino is carrying out a pilot scheme that permits Vietnamese citizens to enter and wager.
It is the only casino in Vietnam that allows Vietnamese gamblers.
In 2019-20, its revenue grew 9.5 percent.
Last year, the casino’s revenue and the number of gamblers fell to 90 percent of the figures in 2020 due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
Between January 2019 and the end of 2021, the turnover was more than VND3.2 trillion ($135.3 million), with its payouts not taken into account.
It submitted VND1.73 trillion ($73.1 million) to the state budget.
According to the Ministry of Finance, the decision to allow Vietnamese citizens to gamble at Corona Casino in Phu Quoc is right, meeting the entertainment demand of many local people.
Under the Politburo’s direction, the casino was permitted to pilot receiving Vietnamese people for three years. However, the COVID-19 pandemic disrupted the pilot scheme, heavily affecting the operation of the casino.
Therefore, the pilot period should be extended to ensure a comprehensive assessment.
In addition, the demand for entertainment services, including casinos, is forecast to surge, contributing significantly to developing the tourism sector, creating jobs for laborers, and increasing the state budget revenue.
Thus, the Ministry of Finance proposed the government seek the Politburo’s permission to extend Corona Casino’s pilot scheme to allow Vietnamese gamblers by two years to January 2024.
During the trial, Vietnamese people will not be permitted to enter other local casinos, except for a casino project whose approval is being considered in the Van Don Economic Zone in Quang Ninh Province.
The Ministry of Finance also suggested adding the casino service to two other tourism projects - the Sun World Ba Na Hill tourist site in Da Nang City and a service, tourism, and entertainment complex on Hon Tre Island in Khanh Hoa Province.
Vietnam currently has nine casino projects, including six small projects and three large ones, including Ho Tram in Ba Ria-Vung Tau Province, Phu Quoc in Kien Giang Province, and South Hoi An in Quang Nam Province.
Moreover, two other projects have got the prime minister’s green light and are under construction, specifically those in Lang Co in Thua Thien-Hue Province and Cam Ranh in Khanh Hoa Province.