Vietnam may be exploring new ways to boost its tourism industry and recover from the COVID-19 pandemic. One of those is the addition of casinos at five-star hotels in Ho Chi Minh City, as proposed by the People’s Committee of Vietnam. Local activists and lawmakers have already pitched the idea to the National Assembly and seek to introduce a number of changes that would positively impact the “nightlife” of the city and therefore its economy.
Allowing Locals to Gamble Ruffles Some Feathers
Tourists and locals who are of the legal gambling age of over 18 will be allowed entry onto the casino gaming floors. The issue that may arise in the future is not so much whether more casinos should be introduced, but rather whether casinos should allow locals to enter. Not everyone agrees. One person to express caution is Nguyen Thi Hong Hanh, who is the deputy director of the Ho Chi Minh City Department of Justice. Before locals are allowed to gamble, a careful debate on the topic would be necessary, Nguyen believes. Casinos will be a new addition to the gaming landscape of the country.
Presently, Vietnam tends to operate properties designated as VIP Clubs in its capital with no casino insight. The casinos that exist target mostly foreigners with the sole exception of the Corona Resort & Casino in Phu Quoc.
Gambling as a Way of Bolstering Finances
When the pandemic struck, Vietnam decided to introduce a temporary exemption for locals, allowing them to gamble under a special program at certain venues. The government is now planning to allow locals to continue gambling legally and up the number of venues where this can happen legally.
This decision is necessitated by the lack of tourist revenue which is slowly beginning to pick up. Vietnam now authorizes gambling by locals at Sun World Ba Na Hills and the newly-developed resort by VinPearl. Vietnam recently lifted most of its COVID-19 restrictions to stimulate tourism and travel.