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Vietnam’s pilot casino program permitting locals to gamble continues to run at a loss

March 20, 2024 Vietnam Casino & HotelIndustry Updates

A Ministry of Finance report, which was sent to the National Assembly and was extensively covered by the local media outlet VietnamNet, claims that the pilot casino program that permits Vietnamese citizens to gamble is still losing money and that the percentage of local players has significantly decreased since the reopening of international borders.

The success of Vietnam’s first legal gambling casino, the Corona Resort & Casino in Phu Quoc, is discussed in the paper. The casino brought in a total of VND6.4 trillion (US$259 million) in income from 2019 to the end of 2023, contributing around VND3.8 trillion ($154 million) to the state coffers. According to the report, Corona Resort lost VNĐ3.7 billion (US$150,600) in total in 2023 despite a 45.7% year-over-year increase in sales to VND2.2 trillion (US$89 million). This was because of depreciation costs and substantial beginning interest payments. It is uncertain how profitable the property will be in 2023.

Additionally, the study reports that 475,450 people visited casinos between 2019 and the end of 2023, with 38% of them being international tourists and 62% of them being locals. Nonetheless, the proportion of Vietnamese players dropped to 39% of all trips in 2023—a significant decrease from previous years marked by the COVID-19 pandemic, which led to a higher proportion of local players in 2020 and 2021 when borders were closed.

The Ministry is awaiting directives from Vietnam’s Politburo about the continuation of the pilot program in light of the earlier trial results that were submitted in August. Two casinos were initially given a three-year trial period for local gaming; however, the second casino in Van Don has not yet been opened, and the pandemic significantly interfered with Corona Resort & Casino’s operations during the first trial period.

Original story by: IAG

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