Government called on to take caution in licensing casinos

Published: 10/05/2011 05:00



Experts have
warned against the movement of localities programming casino projects and
called on the government to take caution with the projects.

localities have licensed, while many other localities have proposed to grant
licenses to tourism complex projects capitalized at several billions of
dollars. A common thing of the special projects is that the tourism complexes
all have the “entertainment areas for foreigners, where they can join games of
chance and get money”. In fact, the phrase means “casinos”.

To date,
licensing casino projects is still considered a “sensitive issue” in Vietnam. The
country, with its cultural tradition, does not want to develop casinos in Vietnam.
Therefore, it has only licensed a very few casino projects in Vietnam so far,
and the casinos only serve foreigners.

the restriction has not satisfied businessmen, who say they can see big
business opportunities from casinos. They argue that gambling is a demand of
Vietnamese people, and if Vietnam
still continues prohibiting casinos in Vietnam,
many Vietnamese people would across the borders to Cambodia to gamble. As a result,
the state cannot collect money from the gambling activities. Meanwhile, the
lack of casinos will not make Vietnam
less attractive in the eyes of foreigners.

the movement of programming casino projects has been growing in many
localities. The project at the Mui Dinh tourism complex in Ninh Thuan province,
capitalized at 4.5 billion dollars, is awaiting the approval from government
agencies. If the project is licensed, the list of the casinos in Vietnam will be

Besides Mui
Dinh, there are many other projects of this kind, including New
City project (4.3 billion dollars), Silver Shores Hoang Dat in Da Nang (160 million dollars), Nam Hoi An in Quang Nam (4 billion
dollars), Hoang Dong Lang Son (2 billion).

If counting
on the Do Son Casino in Hai Phong which has been operational for the last many
years, or the Bai Bien Rong project in Quang Nam province which got the license
revoked earlier this year, one would see that casino projects appear in the
cities and provinces in all the north, south and central regions.

Ba Ria-Vung Tau province alone has two projects – Ho Tram Strip (4.2 billion
dollars) and Saigon Atlantic (4.1 billion).

Dr Nguyen
Mai, a well known economist, said that Vietnam should not go contrary to the
law of nature, i.e… it should not prohibit casinos, but it should keep the
development moderate and under control.

should be the tourism sites with casinos. We would impose high taxes on
casinos, which allows bringing money to the state budget and creates jobs for
laborers,” Mai said.

He has
expressed his support to the plan to open a casino on Phu Quoc island, which is
far from the mainland and only those, who really have money, can go gambling.

the expert has opposed the current movement of opening casinos in every
locality. “No country in the world allows opening so many casinos. Local
authorities should not consider opening casinos just because of the benefits of
their localities,” he said.

Michael A.
Leven, Managing Director of Las Vegas Sands Corp, in a working visit to Vietnam sometime ago, when sharing experience in
casino development, also said that Vietnam
should build concentrated casinos like the ones in Las
Vegas or Macau, while it would be
ineffective to build casinos in different localities and it would be difficult
to manage them. He said that the majority of the turnover of Las
Vegas and Macau are from foreign

In fact,
local authorities want to build casinos in their cities or provinces, because
they hope the local economy would be better with the income from tourism
services. However, experts say casino is just a part of tourism service.
Especially, if the casino development goes beyond the control, it would make
more harm than good.

In 2010,
the owner of Bai Bien Rong project insisted on building a casino as a part of
the project. However, the project then had the licensed revoked because the
casino building was not allowed.

Source: DTCK

Provide by Vietnam Travel

Government called on to take caution in licensing casinos - Features - In depth |  vietnam travel company

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