The government has confirmed it has received the report from the Ministry of Planning and Investment on the casino development plan. Meanwhile, the Ministry of Finance (MOF) has completed the drafting of the decree on the management over the electronic games for prizes specifically reserved for foreigners.
However, just a little of information about the decrease has been published on the MOF’s information portal. A vague conclusion has been made that the requirements on the hotels – service providers would be heightened. Besides, the ministry would also clearly stipulate the kinds of products and the business procedures, as well as the power of the watchdog agencies towards the service providers.
The decree would replace the prime minister’s Decision No. 32 dated on March 27, 2003, while the draft decree would be submitted by the government to the National Assembly’s Standing Committee for consideration before it is promulgated.
Since the draft decree has not been made public yet, no one knows if the draft decree covers the management over casino, which has always been a very sensitive topic in Vietnam.
The debate about whether to allow casino development in Vietnam still continues. Some ministries and organisations advocate the existence of casinos in Vietnam, while others insist that casinos should not be developed in Vietnam because they would cause big social problems.
In August 2011, the prime minister released a document, urging MOF to complete the draft decree on the management over the electronic games for prizes specifically reserved for foreigners, which does not include the regulations relating to casinos.
Meanwhile, prior to that, the ministry had built up a draft decree with the regulations covering the casino management as well.
The draft decree was then submitted by MOF to the government and made public on the website in 2009 for public opinions.
In the latest happening, when answering the questions of the press on the issue, Vu Duc Dam, minister, Chair of the government office, said the government has assigned the Ministry of Planning and Investment to preside the pilot programme on Phu Quoc Island. The ministry has also been assigned to consider the casino project in Van Don district of Quang Ninh province.
Dam said the government has confirmed it has received the report from the Ministry of Planning and Investment on the casino development plan; then it has assigned the standing committee to consider and analyse the conditions for final decision.
Regarding other types of betting services, Dam said the government is considering the lessons and experiences of other countries to find out the most reasonable way which needs to both ensure the economic development and prevent possible bad social consequences.
Though the legal framework on the betting and gambling activities has not been built up, a lot of foreign investors have shown their willing to develop casino services in Vietnam.
Most recently, Las Vegas Sands has expressed its intention to set up two resort complexes in Hanoi and HCM City which comprise casinos. The US group intended to inject a huge sum of capital of six billion dollars in the projects, which is really attractive to Vietnam.
Malaysian Genting Group, which is considering investment opportunities in Vietnam, has also thought of developing a big scale 4 billion dollar entertainment complex with casino in Van Don district in Quang Ninh province
The foreign investors understand well that Vietnamese people are not allowed to enter casinos. However, they still hope that the current regulation would change in the future.