Casinos Proposed for Vietnam Islands

Investors and local officials say resort casinos have an important role to play in the development of several of Vietnam’s offshore islands, including the largest, Phu Quoc in the Mekong Delta. Reports are the government and the ruling Communist Party feel the same way.

Reports are that Vietnam’s ruling Communist Party favors the idea of including casinos in the ongoing development of the country’s largest island.

The newspaper Tien Phong, said Prime Minister Nguyen Tan Dung is pushing the potential of Phu Quoc island, which lies in the Mekong Delta, as a leisure destination.

The island drew 430,000 tourists last year and is reported to have one of the best beaches in the country. More than 200 development projects have been approved for the island, encompassing 4,850 hectares and representing VND135 trillion in investments (US$63 million), according to the head of the Kien Giang provincial government.

Local interests are also eyeing a small island group off the central coast, Ly Son in Quang Ngai province, as a possible casino destination.

“I believe that Ly Son can become the silver island of the central region in the near future,” said Tran Bac Ha, chairman of the Bank for Investment and Development of Vietnam, speaking at a recent conference in Hanoi attended by Deputy Prime Minister Nguyen Xuan Phuc.

Ly Son and its sister island of Be, comprising a combined 10 square kilometers, “should be set aside for a hi-end entertainment area with five star hotels and casinos to attract tourists for long holiday visits,” Tran said.

Nguyen planned to submit the idea to the central government, according to a news report.