Vietnam Cuts IR Investment to $2 Billion

Vietnam, which had demanded a minimum investment of $4 billion for new integrated resorts in the country, may halve that requirement. In addition, the investment can be made in phases, and need not be upfront. The decision is expected to boost interest in casino development in the nation, says Augustine Ha Ton Vinh (l.), an advisor to the government.

Locals gambling also in the plan?

Vietnam may slash its minimum investment for new integrated resorts from $4 billion to $2 billion, according to the Asia Gaming Brief.In addition, the investment can be made in stages. And importantly for the industry, locals may be able to gamble for the first time.

A minimum investment of $4 billion was deemed too high for many investors, said gaming industry analysts.

Augustine Ha Ton Vinh, chairman and CEO of the Stellar Management Corp. and an advisor to the Vietnamese government, said the country is expected to license three new IRs in addition to Ho Tram, which opened in 2013. If they allow local gamblers, the country may be able to retain the estimated millions in tax revenue it loses to Cambodian casinos just across the border.

Vinh said the new legislation will require that Vietnamese gamblers will have to provide proof of income in order to play, and also pay an entry fee of $50, or $500 per year, he said.

The latest version of the legislation is expected to be released by the Ministry of Finance early next year. The license term for the new IRs will be about 15 years, reported AGB.