When it comes to casinos, most of the public are still skeptical. In fact, casinos have been considered legal in many countries and territories and have proven their potential to contribute to the economy. Should Vietnam open casinos?
Casino is a conditional business model, and is subject to strict regulations in Vietnam. In our country, there are currently only 6 casinos licensed to operate, of which 5 casinos only serve foreign visitors to play and 1 casino is piloting to be opened to Vietnamese customers named Corona Casino, located at Dai Beach in Phu Quoc.
These figures show the limited development of casinos in Vietnam. Although the amount of money that Vietnamese people pour into casinos worldwide is estimated at hundreds of millions of U.S. dollars – a huge amount, showing that the demand for this form of entertainment is very huge.
Casino has long been a money-making industry. With the casino business, Las Vegas has turned from an arid region in the western United States into a red-and-black cathedral filled with luxury, the world’s most luxurious hotels and services, or Macau – China ‘s special administrative zone with modest area has become the top tourist destination and is considered the “gambling capital” of Asia, etc.
Therefore, the casino industry not only contributes to economic development by itself, but also has a positive impact on the symbiotic relationship with other service industries.
How attractive are casinos in Asia?
The two prominent names in the casino industry in Asia are Macau and Singapore. First of all, Macau, this special administrative zone is the only place in Chinese territory that legalizes gambling. With a total of 38 legal casinos in operation (2017 figures), the casino can even be viewed as a “cultural feature” of Macau. This is also home to the world’s largest casino today – The Venetian Casino, with an area of up to 51,000m2.
The investment is large, but the profitability is even more impressive: By 2011, total casino revenue in Macau was $33.5 billion, an increase of more than 42% compared to 2010, despite the world economic crisis situation at the moment.
The Lunar New Year period is quite short, but it is in time for Macau to “scoop” up to $3.13 billion from the casino business. This profit is considered admirable for any industry, at the same time it also shows the commercial value and economic potential that the casino industry brings.
Meanwhile, in Singapore, the lion island nation has only legalized casino in the past 10 years, with the beginning of Resort World Casino in Sentos Land in 2010, invested by Genting Group, a familiar name in the red and black field and owns another casino in the same area, namely in Malaysia.
Then Marina Bay Sands – Singapore’s largest casino and a tourist symbol of the current lion island nation was also launched. Unique architecture: Located on the roofs of three buildings, the Marina Bay Sands casino looks like a giant boat and has become Singapore’s top customer attraction.
Why has Singapore had a change in its view of opening casinos, despite a history of banning this type of business for many years? Economists and analysts in Singapore want to diversify their economies while other industries such as finance, high-tech manufacturing, maritime, etc. are competing strongly by other countries.
They believe that casino development is a trend of the modern economy, and while it is still controversial, there is no denying the benefits that casinos bring to the national budget since their operation: Even in 2010, Marina Bay Sands and Resort World Casino contributed more than 14.7% of GDP to Singapore, and by 2011, tourists to the lion island nation skyrocketed to 11.6 million, the profits from the casino reached more than $5.5 billion.
Economists also predicted that with this growth rate, Singapore is fully capable of overtaking Korea Republic and Australia to become a thriving country in Asia’s number 2 casino, just after Macau (China).
Should Vietnam open casinos?
From the cases of Macau and Singapore, it is clear the benefits that casinos bring to economic development when properly planned. As a result, Vietnam should not and it is difficult to stay out of the trend, especially when tourism has been identified as one of the key industries, our country is constantly focusing on development and looking for ways to improve the service quality in recent years.
For the question, should Vietnam open casinos? Then Vietnam has all the conditions and reasons to develop casinos. Firstly, casinos are often built in popular tourist areas, close to luxury resorts and hotels. In the context that Vietnam is undergoing strong changes and gradually making a hallmark on both domestic and foreign tourists, the expansion of casino entertainment will bring new thrust to tourism.
Furthermore, opening casinos in key tourism areas will also contribute to creating more jobs for local laborers. Therefore, in terms of road, the local economy and GDP of the whole country are benefiting and developing from the casino business.
Secondly, the expansion of the legal corridor for casino business will help attract more visitors to Vietnam, especially with the pilot model allowing Vietnamese people to play at casinos built in Vietnam, it will bring this form of entertainment closer to the public, remove the inherent stereotypes about casinos and move the cash flow back to the “home yard”.
In addition, the casino is already familiar with foreigners, so international investors who have experience in this field will also bring a large inflow of capital to build casinos in Vietnam once they are “allowed to” – it is inevitable.
Indeed, casino magnate Sheldon Adelson of Las Vegas Sands has also proposed to invest in two resort – casino complexes in Ho Chi Minh City and Hanoi with a total capital of up to VND 6 billion. The attraction of a large amount of international investment will be very beneficial and will become a springboard for Vietnam’s economy to grow rapidly in the future, as well as penetrate deeper into the entertainment sector which has a lot of inherent potential for exploitation.