Vietnam Government Considering $2.2B Casino Resort Development in Van Don

Vietnam Considering $2.2 Billion Integrated Resort Casino in Van Don Special Economic Zone

Posted on: November 25, 2023, 10:16h.

Last updated on: November 25, 2023, 10:16h.

Vietnam is exploring the possibility of constructing a nearly $2.2 billion integrated resort casino in the Van Don Special Economic Zone located in the northeastern Quang Ninh Province of the country.

Vietnam casino gambling
A corner of the Van Don Special Economic Zone where the Vietnamese government is proposing an integrated resort casino. The nearly $2.2 billion project is being proposed by the Vietnam Ministry of Planning and Investment. (Image: Vietnam Authority of Tourism)

The Vietnam Ministry of Planning and Investment has submitted a report to Prime Minister Pham Minh Chinh, seeking approval for a VN$51.55 trillion (US$2.18 billion) project that includes a casino and resort in the Van Yen Village within the Special Economic Zone.

Vietnam’s Special Economic Zones are enclosed regions established to attract investment and promote socio-economic development to better fund national defense and security programs.

The Planning and Investment Ministry’s report expects the integrated resort and casino complex in Van Don to provide employment for around 6,000 individuals and generate annual revenue of VN$8.16 trillion (US$336 million) for the state government.

Vietnamese Casinos

Vietnam has had legal casinos for foreigners for many years. To address underground gambling networks, the Vietnamese government authorized two casinos for residents in 2017.

Local residents can also participate in the state-run lottery and legal sports betting, with a wagering limit of one million dong (US$42) per day for individuals who are at least 21 years old.

The first casino for locals, the Corona Resort & Casino, opened in Phu Quoc City in the South Vietnam province of Kien Giang in 2019. It offers approximately 1,000 slots and 100 table games.

Foreigners can enter and gamble after proving that they earn at least VN$10 million (US$412) or more per month. The entrance fee is VN$1 million per day, with monthly tickets offered at VN$25 million.

The Ministry of Planning and Investment proposes that the second and final locals casino be built in Northeastern Vietnam. If the prime minister approves the proposal, construction could begin next year, with the resort open to guests by 2032.

Pressing Ahead Despite International Alarms

Since the legalization of casinos, international authorities have expressed concerns that Vietnam lacks adequate money laundering safeguards. While Vietnam implemented an anti-money laundering law in March 2023, the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime said in a September policy report that “the transnational organized crime landscape in Southeast Asia has evolved dramatically in recent years.”

The latest Financial Action Task Force mutual evaluation reports conducted for … Vietnam demonstrate that the regulatory and enforcement mechanisms in place in relation to casinos and Special Economic Zones are not robust enough to address the heightened risks associated with money laundering in the casino industry,” the UN report detailed.

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