Deputy Prime Minister said casinos will be allowed at suitable time

The Communist Party and the state think that it is now not the right time to allow open casinos, because opinions still vary about this. Deputy Prime Minister said so during the National Assembly deputies about whether the country should allow open casinos at the latest legislative session.

Deputy Prime Minister Nguyen Sinh Hung said: “It is not because we still cannot keep control over casinos. In fact, casinos are also not encouraged in the world.” However, he added that casinos might be allowed at a suitable time later on a trial basis. Altough he stressed that this would still need thorough studies in order to avoid bad impacts on society.

According to an official from the Ministry of Planning and Investment (MPI), the ministry has submitted to the government a plan on casino development. No official information has been released about this, but sources say that the government would only consider allowing casinos to be set up within projects that have investment capital of USD 4 billion and higher, large real estate complexes. These must be very big projects that would positively impact the whole region.

However, when talking with press agencies, Head of the Foreign Investment Agency under the Ministry of Planning and Investment Phan Huu Thang said that the requirement on investment scale would be just one of the conditions. Meanwhile, a lot of foreign investors are planning to make investment in big real estate complexes in Vietnam which include casinos.

In September 2007, two US investors, Gillman Group and Fidelity Ventures Investment Group, unveiled their plan to develop a tourism project in Ba Ria-Vung Tau province in the south, estimated to cost up to USD 5 billion. It would include a financial-banking centre, a water park and aquarium, a casino, a cinema area, resorts and others.

Quang Ninh authorities in October 2007 approved the 300-hectare tourism complex worth USD 112 million. Vu Nguyen Nhiem, chairman of the provincial government, said that the investor, which is a Vietnam-US joint venture, would build major works for the complex such as a golf course and hotel. It is also seeking permission from the Prime Minister to build a casino section there.