Kiên Giang asks to extend pilot programme permitting Vietnamese to gamble in Phú Quốc casino

October 07, 2022 - 08:20
The Kiên Giang People’s Committee has asked the Ministry of Finance to extend the pilot period which allows Vietnamese people to gamble in the casino until January 2025.
Corona Casino on Phú Quốc Island. — Photo from the company

PHÚ QUỐC — Phú Quốc Casino on the resort island Phú Quốc, Kiên Giang Province, has contributed VNĐ1.7 trillion (US$70.8 million) to the provincial budget in the last three years and created more than 1,000 jobs.

On this basis, the Kiên Giang People’s Committee has asked the Ministry of Finance to extend the pilot period which allows Vietnamese people to gamble in the casino until January 2025.

The casino, in which Phú Quốc Tourism Development and Investment Joint Stock Company invested more than VNĐ50 trillion (over $2 billion), opened in January 2019.

According to the committee’s deputy chairman Nguyễn Thanh Nhàn, since coming into operation, the project has created a breakthrough for Phú Quốc Island to become a high-quality eco-tourism centre with regional and international stature.

The casino, which is considered a new tourism product, has also helped the island to attract more tourists to the island, Nhàn said.

“Since its operation, the casino has had many positive impacts on the local socio-economic development by generating jobs for more than 1,000 local people and 32 foreign workers,” he said.

“More than 240,000 visitors to Phú Quốc Island play in the casino, over 150,000 of whom are Vietnamese,” he said.

“The casino paid the local budget about VNĐ1.7 trillion ($70.8 million), of which the revenue from ticket sales for Vietnamese people was more than VNĐ140 billion ($5.8 million),” he said.

In the first eight months this year, the casino paid the local budget VNĐ240 billion ($9.9 million).

Over the last three years, the casino has complied with Decree No. 03/2017/NĐ dated November 16, 2017 of the Prime Minister, the deputy chairman said.

According to regulations, a Vietnamese person who wants to play at the casino must be 21 years old or older and have a clear judicial record and permanent income of over VNĐ10 million ($416) per month.

The Government has traditionally banned Vietnamese citizens from entering casinos to gamble.

The trial period for Vietnamese gambling in the casino was slated for three years, Nhàn said.

But the period was interrupted due to the COVID-19 pandemic. This badly affected the casino’s activity. So, it needs more time to be fully evaluated, Nhàn said.

Based on initial positive results, the Kiên Giang People’s Committee requested the Ministry of Finance extend the pilot period to January 7 of 2025. — VNS