Vietnam: locals’ access to casinos to be extended until 2024

At present, Vietnamese citizens are only permitted to enter two casinos.
At present, Vietnamese citizens are only permitted to enter two casinos.

Vietnamese authorities are willing to extend the permission for selected casinos to allow economically qualified locals to gamble.

Vietnam.- The Ministry of Finance has proposed an extension of the scheme that allows Vietnamese citizens to gamble at selected casinos until 2024.

At present, Vietnamese citizens are only permitted to enter two casinos: one on the southern island of Phu Quoc and the other in Van Don, in the northern province of Quang Ninh.

The government has tight restrictions on who can enter the properties: players must be aged over 21 and earn a minimum of VND$10m (US$430) a month. Players must also have no criminal record and no objections from their families.

The scheme was to be reviewed next year, but the impact of the Covid-19 pandemic and lack of tourism have led authorities to extend the permission on locals’ access to casinos until 2024. The proposal must be reviewed by the country’s prime minister.

In March, casino operators asked the government to expand Vietnamese citizens’ access to casinos in major tourism destinations such as Quang Nam and Ba Ria-Vung Tau to help casinos face the loss of revenue from tourists owing to the Covid-19 pandemic. 

However, the government has stated the current scheme won’t be expanded to other casino operators.

Vietnam tightens rules on money laundering

The Vietnam Ministry of Finance is working on a new decree that introduces penalties of up to VND200m if a casino operates without a certificate of eligibility.

The decree will also introduce fines of between VND40m and VND50m for casino operators that fail to report suspicious transactions as prescribed by law. It will also include fines of between VND90m and VND100m for organising or facilitating money laundering.

The Ministry of Finance said the government was committed to improving the efficiency of policy and law enforcement and seeks to improve the publicity and transparency of the gaming sector to protect the interests of gamblers.

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