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Saturday, February 27, 2021

Finance Ministry proposes amending Decree on casino business

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HCMC – The Ministry of Finance has sent a document to the Prime Minister to propose some amendments to the Government’s Decree on the casino business, including suggesting that the Government allow casinos to advertise at their sites to attract more local and international gamblers.

It also proposed amending a number of regulations on the management of casino machines and equipment, casino inspection, the internal management at casinos, the revocation of casino business certificates and administrative sanctions against violations.

Following the Finance Ministry’s proposal, casinos will be fined VND40-50 million for not keeping a book to manage casino machines and equipment or failing to build internal regulations.

They will be fined VND90-100 million for manipulating the casino business certificate, not maintaining a book for managing guests or failing to issue electronic cards for guests. A fine of VND180-200 million will be imposed on casinos whose location violates the regulation.

The Finance Ministry also proposed keeping some regulations unchanged. Accordingly, the investment capital of a casino project must be at least US$2 billion. A casino project will not be put into operation unless its capital disbursement reaches US$1 billion. Casino investors can only transfer their capital contribution five years after they obtain the business certificate.

According to the Foreign Investment Department under the Ministry of Planning and Investment, the Vietnamese Government has permitted 11 casinos to operate, including 10 for foreigners and Vietnamese holding foreign passports and residing overseas and one for both foreign and local gamblers. In 2019, their total revenue amounted to VND2.5 trillion.

Corona Casino in Phu Quoc, the only casino in Vietnam that accepts local gamblers, received more than 105,000 guests last year. Foreign gamblers, mainly from China, South Korea and Malaysia, accounted for 55% of the total.

The casino’s 2019 revenue amounted to more than VND1.4 trillion. It contributed VND521 billion in tax to the State budget. The casino posted a profit of over VND284 billion.

Meanwhile, casinos in localities that share a border with China have been operating inefficiently due to the tough competition from other casinos in the region. The Royal Casino Halong in Quang Ninh Province saw its 2019 revenue drop by over 18% against 2018 to VND236 billion.

Royal International Corporation, the operator of the casino, said it reduced staff and cut costs but still suffered a loss of VND72.8 billion last year.

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