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The Quang Ninh People’s Committee has just sent a document to reply to Sun Group’s proposal asking the province to confirm it as the only developer chosen by the province to develop and operate the casino in Van Don Economic Zone.
The document, signed by Nguyen Van Thanh, deputy chairman of the committee on April 17, confirmed that “Sun Group is the province’s strategic developer, and was chosen by the province to report to the prime minister as the only developer of the luxury resort-entertainment complex with a casino, according to the master plan approved by the prime minister, and allowed to pilot allowing Vietnamese citizens to play in the casino.”
According to the master plan, only the resort and park project in Van Yen commune will be allowed to include a casino in the EZ. Sun Group has been pursuing this project for a long time. In Van Don, Sun Group has also been building Van Don Airport.
In late March, news outlets broke that Quang Ninh has allowed another developer, FLC, to conduct a study on building a casino in Van Don EZ. The casino will be part of a luxury tourism and entertainment project that is expected to have an investment of over $2 billion and will be built on Van Canh and Ngoc Vung islands. This would be the first casino where Vietnamese citizens are allowed to play and is expected to serve the immense volume of tourists coming to Halong.
Decree 03/2017/ND-CP, dated January 16, 2017 regulating casino business activities for Vietnamese citizens took effect on March 15, 2017.
Accordingly, Vietnamese citizens shall be allowed to place bets in casinos for a trial period of three years, from the date the first casino operator successfully obtains their license for Vietnamese gamblers.
In the trial period, eligible Vietnamese customers who are allowed in are those who must be at least 21 years old, have a monthly regular income of minimum VND10 million ($454.5), and are legally competent.
The decree also loosens the conditions for businesses to get investment licenses for casino operations in terms of investment capital. Specifically, the total investment capital required for a casino project would be trimmed from $4 billion to $2 billion, and disbursed capital must reach at least $1 billion.
The decree resumes the race for casino licenses among investors. Many investors who gave up casino development projects are considering making a return.