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More casinos licensed in Vietnam: should they be off-limits to Vietnamese?

Posted: Aug 22, 2012

 With several large and small casinos being licensed and more awaiting approval, the question has again cropped up: should Vietnamese be allowed into casinos in Vietnam?

Since gambling is considered a “social ill” and legalizing it is seen as opening a Pandora ’s Box, the country’s casinos are now open only to foreigners and overseas Vietnamese. But it is an open secret that citizens go in droves across the border into Cambodia and to other countries to part with their money.

In 2008 the government approved a Las Vegas-style integrated resort, a $4.2 billion oceanfront complex some 80 miles from Saigon.

Being developed by Canada’s Asian Coast Development Ltd (ACDL), the project’s first casino-resort, the MGM Grand, is scheduled to open next February.

Since 2008 five other casino-resorts have been licensed across the country: two in Quang Ninh and one each in Hai Phong, Lao Cai, and Da Nang.

More foreign casino investors have evinced interest in entering Viet Nam.

The one thing in common between all the casino-resorts is that no Vietnamese citizens will be allowed entry.

A spokesperson for Ho Tram said the casino targets foreigners living in Viet Nam and overseas Vietnamese.

“We also target more than 6 million tourists coming to Viet Nam annually,” he said. Read more here.

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