The Corona Resort and Casino on Phu Quoc island, Vietnam, has announced that it will temporarily close due to a rise in Covid-19 cases.
Vietnam.- Corona Casino, the first casino in Vietnam where locals can gamble, has closed its doors until further notice due to a government announcement following a rise in Covid-19 cases.
The casino complex, which opened in 2019, is located on Phu Quoc island, where the Ministry of Health reported 4,843 new Covid-19 cases in the last 24 hours.
According to local media reports, under current countermeasures, only essential businesses are allowed to open and people must only leave home to buy essential goods. Authorities said the lockdown will be in place for at least two weeks.
The government of Cambodia has suspended entries and exits with Vietnam in an attempt to avoid a rise in Covid-19 cases. Vietnamese employees that are currently in Cambodia cannot return home, while those in Vietnam cannot enter Cambodia.
There are only exceptions for patients seeking medical treatment in Vietnam and diplomats or officials under a mission at the invitation of either country’s authorities.
Corona Casino permission for locals extended until 2024
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 the aforementioned Corona Resort and Casino and another venue 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 said the current scheme won’t be expanded to other casino operators.