Vietnam OKs New Phu Quoc Casino Site

The Vietnamese government and Prime Minister Nguyễn Tấn Dũng (l.) has OK’d a new casino on scenic Phu Quoc Island, off the coast of Cambodia in the Gulf of Thailand. The multibillion-dollar resort will be in Bai Dai Ecotourism Area in Ganh Dau Commune.

New location for complex

The prime minister of Vietnam has approved a plan to develop a multibillion-dollar casino complex on Phu Quoc Island, an ecotourism destination known for its jungles and mountains, palm-lined beaches and elite resorts.

Originally planned for Bai Thom Commune, the project has been moved to a more optimal site at the Bai Dai Ecotourism Area in Ganh Dau Commune. The plan is supported by Prime Minister Nguy?n T?n D?ng and has also been endorsed by the Ministry of Planning and Investment.

The website reports that the complex will include luxury hotels with a total of 3,000 rooms, along with a conference center and a casino with up to 400 live tables and 2,000 gaming machines. Investors are expected to put at least US$4 billion into the project.

The casino resort is part of a much more ambitious plan for Phu Quoc, the website reported. About 567 hectares (1,400 acres) in Bai Dai and west of the island has been earmarked for tourism and recreational services, a golf course and craft villages. An additional 2,090 hectares of “agricultural land and forest buffer zone in Cua Can Commune” will be converted into a tourist destination and a golf course.

Among the natural attractions will be fishing, hiking, sightseeing and sports such as parachuting, mountain climbing and animal watching.

According to a release from the government, the zoning development plan for Phu Quoc, off mainland Kien Giang Province, is in effect until 2030.

Meanwhile, Laguna L?ng Cô., developer of Laguna L?ng Cô in Thua Thien-Hue province, is moving forward with Phase II of its master plan development at the Banyan Tree and Angsana resorts; that plan also includes a gaming facility. In a news release, Andrew Klebanow of Global Market Advisors, which conducted the gaming market assessment, said the site is right for a casino. “The project is similar to Laguna Phuket, only master-planned on a far grander scale,” he said. “This will ultimately be an iconic resort destination that will exceed the expectations of those who have ever seen Laguna Phuket. The addition of a games club will only enhance the vacation experience for guests staying at Laguna L?ng Cô.”

A Request for Concepts for the gaming facility was issued on May 26 and is due August 6. The selection of a gaming operator is expected to coincide with the convening of the National Assembly in early 2016.

Vietnam now has five smaller standalone casinos, one megaresort, the Grand on the Ho Tram Strip, and some 50 small operations inside luxury hotels.