In Vietnam, New Hotel, Bigger Casino

An Australian investor in a casino in northern Vietnam has agreed to buy a controlling share of the Lao Cai International Hotel (l.) and remodel and expand the hotel. The casino offering is also set to expand significantly.

In Vietnam, New Hotel, Bigger Casino

ASX-listed Donaco International has signed a binding agreement to purchase a majority stake in the Lao Cai International Hotel and its adjoining casino on Vietnam’s border with China.

Australia-owned Donaco, led by two grandsons of Genting founder Lim Goh Tong, will buy the additional 20 percent stake from state-owned Sapa Petroleum Tourism Joint Stock Company, increasing its holding to 95 percent. The remaining 5 percent will continue to be held by Sapa.

Donaco says it plans to spend more than US$50 million to remodel and expand the small (34 rooms) three-star hotel into a five-star facility catering to tourists and gamblers from China. The casino portion operates only eight table games and 36 slot machines currently but has approval from the Vietnamese government to bump that to 50 tables and 300 EGMs. The remodeled hotel is slated to reopen in March and be fully operational by July with 428 rooms.

Donaco reported A$15.7 million in revenue at the Lao Cai in the last year and a profit of $7 million, a 41 percent increase year on year.