In Vietnam, only foreigners are allowed to gamble in the casinos that are currently operating in the country.
But since June of last year, steps were being taken to overturn this rule and allow locals to play in their homeland. According to studies, Vietnam was losing about US$800 million in tax returns with Vietnamese having to go abroad to scratch their gambling itch.
A three-year trial
The government has announced a three-year trial allowing local residents to gamble at two select casinos (still under construction) in the provinces of Van Don District, and Phu Quoc Island off the southern province of Kien Giang.
In addition to these two locations, the Grand Ho Tram Strip can apply to be part of the pilot program since “the government retains an option to cancel (or even expand)” the scheme.
This permission comes with strict conditions that locals will have to comply with:
- They have to be 21 years of age or above
- They must present Proof of Income equivalent to VND10 million (US$440) or more
- They must pay an entry fee of VND1 million ($44) per person per day, or VND25 million ($1,100) per person per month
- There must be no official request from any family member (i.e. parents, spouses, children, or even parents-in-law) to bar them from gambling
It is also stipulated that locals who have a criminal record or are under prosecution cannot gamble at the casinos.
The Vietnamese government published on Friday a 50-page decree that provides the details of the three-year trial . The text is supposed to come into effect on March 1.
Article by Gabrielle Bareddo