Genting plays right cards with casino plan resort

Asian hospitality giant Genting Group wants to lay money down for its second integrated gaming and resort complex in Vietnam – this time in northern Quang Ninh province, home to the world heritage Halong Bay.

A source at Quang Ninh Economic Zone Management Authority told VIR the Malaysian group had signed a memorandum of understanding with Quang Ninh province for studying the feasibility of developing a large integrated gaming and resort complex in the local Van Don Economic Zone.

“Genting expressed its interest in developing a project here and it started studying its feasibility,” said the source, adding that this project would comprise resorts, a convention centre, entertainment facilities and a casino. “Under government requirements, total investment capital for this project should not be less than $4 billion,” he added.

Quang Ninh Provincial People’s Committee has set aside 1,800 hectares in Van Don Economic Zone for the development of this integrated gambling and resort complex. But, every casino project in Vietnam must be approved by both the government and the Politburo.

Last October, Prime Minister Nguyen Tan Dung turned down a $4.5 billion casino integrated resort proposal in central Ninh Thuan province by Hong Kong-based Polo Beach International Limited, after one year’s deliberation.

Last month, Dung directed the Ministry of Planning and Investment, in association with other ministries, to make a specific report on Genting’s project to send to the government by the end this month. Final approval will be given by the Politburo.

Genting is principally involved in the leisure and hospitality business including theme parks, gaming, hotels, seaside resorts and entertainment. The group now owns and operates casino businesses such as the famous Resorts World Genting in Malaysia, Resorts World Casino New York City in the United States and Genting UK in the United Kingdom.

If Genting gets the go-ahead for this project, it will become the company’s second casino project in Vietnam.

In 2009, the Malaysian company, through a joint venture with VinaCapital, obtained an investment certificate for the building of a $4 billion integrated gaming and resort complex in central Quang Nam province. This 1,555ha project comprises five-star hotels, resorts and villas, along with a gambling facility for foreigners and a maximum of 2,500 houses for sales or rent.

The Vietnamese government has in recent years approved several gaming-focused tourism projects. Asian Coast Development (Canada) Limited gained an investment certificate to build a $4.2 billion casino-based vacation resort in southern Ba Ria Vung Tau province. Nearby, US’s Winvest Investment LLC was also handed an investment certificate for development of a $4 billion integrated resort.

In central Phu Yen province, New City Properties Development Company is constructing a $4.3 billion project while Silver Shores Hoang Dat Exceptional International Entertainment Joint Venture Company is also developing a $160 million integrated gambling resort in central Danang city.

Ninh Kieu (