Locals gaming underwhelms

Corona entrance
Corona entrance

Vietnam’s hotly anticipated locals gaming program has got off to a slow start, with remote locations and red tape cited as key factors in deterring visitation. The government announced in 2017 that it would allow locals to gamble in a three-year pilot program to assess the impact on its nationals. The conditions were a minimum age of 21 and a minimum monthly salary of at least $445. It also said only integrated resorts fulfilling a $2 billion investment criteria would be selected. At the time, the announcement was widely seen as being a game-changer for integrated resorts in Vietnam, potentially attracting much higher levels of foreign investment. Many of the larger operators, such as Las Vegas Sands, have publicly stated they will not invest in jurisdictions which don’t have local support. Since then enthusiasm has waned. The government restricted the program to just two IRs, one on Phu Quoc island in the...

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