Vietnam Rolls the Dice

The Vietnamese government is doubling down on casinos to help grow the country’s tourism industry and compete with other Asian gaming destinations. Next up is a casino resort planned for the vacation island of Phu Quoc.

First casino on a grand scale

Vietnamese Prime Minister Nguyen Tan Dung has thrown his support to a proposed casino resort project planned for the island of Phu Quoc, according to the Vietnam Investment Review. It’s part of a broader plan to develop the country’s gaming industry and remain competitive with other tourism destinations such as Singapore, Malaysia, Thailand, the Philippines and of course, Macau.

A domestic investor has been chosen to develop the $4 billion casino, said Huynh Vinh Lac, deputy director at the Office of the Kien Giang Provincial People’s Committee. The name of the investor has not yet been disclosed.

The Review described Phu Quoc as “an untouched paradise” that has the potential to become a vacation hotspot. It is already in the early stages of its transformation. In 2014, Vietnamese developer Vingroup opened a 750-room Vinpearl Resort on the island. A new international airport also recently opened there.

Vietnam has had seven small-scale casinos and some 50 electronic betting shops, all of which serve foreigners only. The biggest gaming hall is the Grand Ho Tram Strip in the southern province of Ba Ria-Vung Tau, which has 90 gaming tables and more than 600 slots.