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Government eyes casino proposals, policies

Update: March, 08/2012 - 07:49

HA NOI — The Government is considering the advantages and disadvantages of several casino projects proposed for Viet Nam, said Minister and Chairman of the Government Office Vu Duc Dam at a press conference on Tuesday.

The Government would poll relevant agencies on legal mechanisms for gambling before making a final decision on implementation, he added.

Dam said, in accordance with piloted projects on Phu Quoc Island in southern Kien Giang Province and northern Quang Ninh Province seeking US$4 billion towards a casino, "This is a trend that needs consideration so that it can be managed and operated following market demand."

He said the Government was actively studying other betting models in countries which already had legal gambling activities.

"The Government's point of view is that, policies must be suitable to practical rules and market demand, so as not to affect [local] habits, customs, social order and security," Dam said.

According to the Wall Street Journal, US casino operators view Asia as an important new market as their American operations continue to suffer from the global financial crisis. PriceWaterhouseCoopers expects Asia to represent 43 per cent of the global casino market by 2015, up 14 per cent over 2010.

The online newspaper commented that Viet Nam could be one of several new gambling hubs thanks to its 90-million population and its growing appeal to foreign tourists.

Las Vegas Sands Chief Executive Sheldon Adelson said he was trying to encourage local authorities to allow the company to build integrated casino-and-convention resorts in the country, it wrote.

At an investment promotion conference last month, Quang Ninh Province announced an investment plan focused on a 1,800ha tourism, sport and entertainment complex in its Van Don District, with a $4 billion casino one of its most important proponents. — VNS

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