Can Corona lure in the locals?

On first glance, the island of Phu Quoc, with a population of just 100,000, would appear to be an unusual destination for arguably Vietnam’s most significant casino development to date. Corona Resort and Casino, which opened in January, is the first venue in the country to admit Vietnamese nationals onto the floor under a three-year pilot scheme. Netherlands-based Upffinity Gaming Management operates the venue under an exclusive management deal signed in May 2017, while Peter Keijzer, the former general manager of Holland Casino in Amsterdam, is serving in the same role at the Phu Quoc venue. The casino’s location, though, is seen by some as a big challenge. “We heard it was slow at the beginning, but it’s picking up,” Fortuna Investments director Tim Shepherd said at the ASEAN Gaming Summit in March. “The junkets are starting to pay attention. It’s slow, but it’s getting there.” Augustine Vinh, president of Stellar Management...

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