Vietnamese casino operators have put up an appeal to the government in order to allow the local citizens to gamble in the casinos. The revenue of casinos is plummeting because of the restriction placed on the International borders.
As part of the three-year pilot program initiated by the government of Vietnam, casino operators are only allowed to serve customers with a Vietnamese passport. Since there are strict restrictions on the international borders, the revenues of the casinos are declining.
Vietnam’s government has made it mandatory to regulate casinos with a minimum investment of $2 billion. The required investment amount is extraordinarily high considering that casinos can only provide services to foreigners.
Such a hurdle imposed by the government of Vietnam has caused investors to step back from their deals, despite many foreign entrepreneurs considering the Vietnam gambling market has good potential.
One such potential investor is Las Vegas Sands, which has announced its plans of withdrawal after the announcement of the three-year pilot program.
The three-year program allows the local market to gamble in Phu Quoc’s Corona Resort. Casino operators are waiting for the government to expand the program.
The associate director of business intelligence at Dezan Shira & Associates in Ho Chi Minh City, Saponti Baroowa said, “The Government’s main concern would not be to expose the local population to potential risks of gambling and so I do not think there will be a significant shift in the government policy soon. ”
She adds, “There are the pilot programs, but they give us the view that it is something the government is experimenting with, but I believe it is highly unlikely to be opened up for the big spenders any time soon. ”
Vietnam’s gambling market depends highly on tourism. As a result, Ben Lee, managing partner of iGamix Management & Consulting believes that the Vietnam gambling market is a “Sleeping Giant” as a tourist destination, which will continue to be popular as soon as the Chinese borders open for business. He agrees that the requirement of a $2 billion investment in the foreign-only market might be unsuccessful.
Before the pandemic, Vietnam had 18 million tourists in the year 2019, which is 16% higher than the number of tourists visiting Vietnam last year. Particularly, Chinese tourists seem to enjoy the trip to Vietnam, reported Chinese visitors are almost 5.8 million.
Due to the Covid-19 pandemic, the foreign-only gambling market of Vietnam is drenching in loss because there are foreign and travel restrictions launched by the government which does not provide many customers to the casino operators.
Despite Vietnam being tourists’ favorite destination, the new three-year regulation proposed by the government will hinder the development of the gaming industry.
Investors are now hesitating to invest in Vietnam casinos because of government regulations. Casino operators need to make a strong case to grab foreign investors.
Even though the casino operators are eagerly trying to persuade the government to allow the local citizen to gamble, there still doesn’t seem to be any response from the government’s end.