Easing of finance requirements for Vietnam casino developments

By William Brown Updated
Vietnam’s first casino for locals opens

Amendments are coming the casino investment requirements in Vietnam.

Asgam reports the Vietnamese Ministry of Finance released a report recommending the amendment of certain provisions governing the nation’s casinos.

The amendments aim to ease the burden on operators and investors amid substantial losses within the sector, including removing a requirement for casino and integrated resort investors to pay at least 50 per cent of total investment capital for a project before it can be granted its licence.

According to the Ministry, such a requirement is not feasible for projects being developed in regions lacking infrastructure, where the investor may also need to inject funding into infrastructure improvements.

Local media reports the Ministry will ease restrictions on advertising as well.

Operators are currently only allowed to advertise their business at casino entry points, but this will be expanded to allow for advertising anywhere within the region where the project is located to allow greater opportunity to introduce the business to international travellers.

The minimum US$2 billion investment requirement will remain in place.

The easing of some provisions supports information contained in the Ministry’s report, which shows the Corona Resort and Casino in Phu Quoc, the first of two casinos granted permission to allow local gambling under a three year pilot program, suffered a US$108.8 million loss in 2019.

Corona opened in January 2019 and attracted 105,000 casino visitors throughout the year, of which 474,00 or 45 per cent were Vietnamese.

The resort generated revenue US$61.6 million, including US$59.4 million from its casino.

Vietnam’s second casino granted permission to welcome locals, located in the rural district of Van Don has yet to open.

The Ministry of Finance said casino revenues across Vietnam’s eight licensed casinos reached US$107.5 million in 2019, more than double that of 2017.

New electronic table games installed at Vietnam casino

Hong Kong-listed Asia Pioneer Entertainment Holdings says it has installed a total of 50 electronic table games at a gaming venue in Vietnam.

GGR Asia reported in July that Club99 at the Furama Resort Danang will include several gaming products from Slovenian maker Spintec d.o.o.

They were: Karma GEN2 automated roulette; video baccarat; and multi-baccarat, according to a Wednesday press release.

APE said this was “the first multi-baccarat” product from Spintec to be deployed in a gaming venue in Southeast Asia.

APE has a core business of distribution, sales and servicing for casino slot machines and electronic table games.

Club99 was recently renovated to mark this month its 10th anniversary, according to the release.

The revamped venue opened to customers on July 18.

The release quoted Vicky Chan, APE’s assistant general manager of sales and marketing, as saying the product placement at Club99 gave the APE group a “tremendous opportunity” to “introduce to new audiences” the gaming technology of its partner companies.

APE sought to maintain its “strategic position” in the Southeast Asia market via “innovative games”, providing players with “elite customer service and fostering mutually-beneficial relationships with our partners,” Ms Chan said.

APE had recently placed products – including from Spintec and Konami Australia – at the Hoiana casino resort in Vietnam.

In May, APE reported a net loss of just under US$530,000 for the first quarter, more than double that of the prior year quarter.

The company said its results had been affected by the outbreak of COVID-19.

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