Banyan Tree seeks casino approval

14:00 | 28/07/2014
Singaporean resort developer Banyan Tree Holdings is expecting to receive the Vietnamese government’s approval to open a casino at its existing Laguna Lang Co resort in the central province of Thua Thien-Hue.

Singapore’s Banyan Tree is seeking the go-ahead for a casino project at Laguna Lang Co resort

The provincial people’s committee last week stated that Ho Kwon Ping, executive chairman of Banyan Tree Holdings had asked provincial leaders to allow the developer to open a casino at the resort. The casino, if given the go-ahead, will play an important role in the development of Laguna Lang Co – Banyan Tree Holdings’ first project in Vietnam.

Nguyen Ngoc Thien, Chairman of the Thua Thien-Hue Provincial People’s Committee, was quoted in the announcement as saying that the province supported Banyan Tree’s casino proposal at Laguna Lang Co, as he believed it would benefit both the province and the developer.

However, as the Ministry of Finance was currently drafting the nation’s first legal framework for casino businesses, Thien said the developer would have to wait until the National Assembly ratified the decree.

Languna Lang Co, which opened in March last year. The 280-hectare resort is located near Lang Co Bay, and framed by a three kilometre beach in the Chan May region. This development includes Banyan Tree and Angsana branded hotels and spas, an 18-hole championship golf course designed by Nick Faldo, private villas and residences available for sale, convention facilities and a plethora of recreational activities for guests of all ages.

A representative of Laguna Lang Co, in an email sent to VIR last week said that “any future enhancement would expand our offerings, building up Laguna Lang Co as a world-class destination in Thua Thien-Hue.” However, Laguna Lang Co refused to unveil any detail of the casino project, because it is in “very early and preliminary stages.”

Since 1992, 50 electronic gaming facilities and seven casinos have been licensed nationwide. All of them are only open to foreigners due to the legal ban on Vietnamese nationals gambling.

Other resort developers are also seeking permission from the Vietnamese government for opening casinos. For example, in April, the Danang Municipal People’s Committee also asked permission from the prime minister for two casinos to be licensed in the city and to allow the expansion of the central city’s only existing Silver Shores, in a bid to make the city more attractive to Asian tourists.

Asset management firm VinaCapital also wants to build a large-scale casino in the central province of Quang Nam, more than100 kilometres south of Lang Co. While the Vietnamese government is actively canvassing foreign investors to build casinos on Phu Quoc island in the southern province Kien Giang and Van Don island in the northern province of Quang Ninh.

By By Ngoc Linh

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