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Outline of Vietnam’s casinos clearer as investors show interest

Investors are paying attention to the prospect of Vietnam’s steps to launch casinos after the country’s Prime Minister Nguyen Tan Dung gave the projects official backing.

Prime Minister Dung assigned Vietnam’s Ministry of Planning and Investment to cooperate work with relevant agencies on a proposed casino for Phu Quoc Island in southern Kien Giang Province.

The long discussed Phu Quoc casino proposal is now seen as the most likely to open, located just south of the Cambodian coast and 40 kilometres west of the nearest Vietnamese town of Ha Tun.

The other key destination is Van Don in Quang Ninh province in the northern region near Ha Long Bay north from the capital, Hanoi.

Both areas are favored as they are suitable for casino development located in special zones, well away from the mainland and as a result limiting any “side effects from casinos”.

Foreign investor interest in the Van Don development has been shown by such names as Las Vegas Sands (US), Phoenix Tailoi Macau (Macau), Westar Investment Fund (Australia), ISC (Australia) and Casinos (Austria).

For the Phu Quoc project names of potential investors have included Southern Gold Coast JSC (Phu Quoc), the Philippines based Environment Energy Solutions Technology Incorporated Co. and a joint venture between the Sea Star Travel JSC and Asia Strategic Consulting and Advisory Service Ltd.

Singaporean companies have also expressed an interest to invest in a casino in Phu Quoc.

Vietnam newspaper reports said the government’s positive approach to casino investment in Phu Quoc had been based on a specific project, possibly a local investor. The projects in both locations are expected to require up to $4.0 billion.

The Phu Quoc project requires a government decree on the casino business to go ahead.

A key feature in the development proposals is that the casinos would be ‘foreigners only’ access.

Two other large-scale projects, are the Ho Tram Strip, with capital of $4.2 billion in Ba Ria Vung Tau, and South Hoi An with investment of $4 billion, in Quang Nam, which are licensed.

The Ho Tram Strip has been officially launched into its phase with the next phase  underway. But Nam Hoi An remains in limbo seek an alternative investor after Genting Berhad Malaysia withdrew.


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