Vietnam May Extend Three-Year Pilot Program

The Vietnamese Ministry of Finance has asked for an extension of its three-year pilot program that trialed gambling in the country. The Ministry argued that the COVID-19 pandemic made it impossible to adequately evaluate the results of the program.

Vietnam Allowed Locals to Play for Three Years

Three years ago, the Vietnamese government started a pilot casino program that allows locals to gamble at a Phu Quoc Island casino. The program’s aim is to see whether legalizing casino games for locals would benefit the local economy.

The idea was proposed by Professor Ha Ton Vinh, who believes that the pilot program will provide the government with an idea about how to manage casinos and their businesses without hurting social order. He praised the program but added that the government must also take into mind the needs of large-scale casino investors.

Ha Ton Vinh believes that there is a lot to benefit from launching gambling for Vietnamese people. He concluded that there are currently many large-scale venues that can be opened to locals. To name a few, the professor listed the Ho Tram cas riches777 ino and the Nam Hoi An casino. The latter venues are currently open to foreign visitors and tourists but don’t accept local players.

Depending on the results of the program, the government may decide to either expand the program and allow Vietnamese players to play at other casinos as well.

A Two-year Extension Might Be Needed

Unfortunately, the COVID-19 pandemic prevented the Ministry of Finance from properly evaluating the results of the pilot program.

As a result, the Ministry submitted a request to extend the program by two more years. According to deputy minister of finance Nguyen Duc Chi, the pandemic prevented both locals and foreign tourists from visiting the Phu Quoc Island venue. These pandemic measures, Duc Chi pointed out, made it impossible to see if the program had the desired effects.

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The original pilot program is set to expire at the end of 2022. However, if the Ministry’s request is approved, the program may continue to run until 2024.

Originally, the program envisioned the opening of two casinos for local customers. However, the Van Don district casino, which is the second venue that was approved for the program, never got the necessary approvals to open.

Meanwhile, the Phy Quoc casino served around 240,560 customers in three years. According to official data, 65% of the visitors were locals. Sadly, revenue and visitation were heavily impacted by the pandemic in 2021, disrupting the establishment’s business.