It’s not just for foreigners anymore, Casinos are now finally open for Vietnamese. Multi-billion dollar Vietnam casino projects from real estate giants are ready for a new race.
Fierce competition in Central Vietnam
Casino projects in Vietnam are considered a promising business, some even called it “the unexplored billion-dollar gold mine”, but currently there are only 8 licensed casinos in Vietnam, of which Ho Tram casino has the largest scale, and most of the years have been running at a loss.
However, the experts still think the casino business is still very attractive in Vietnam, especially when Vietnamese are now eligible to gamble at casinos. According to Union Gaming Securities Asia, Vietnam casino market can reach 1.2 billion USD per year.
This can explain why many real estate giants are pouring billions of dollars into resort (with casino) projects. With the advantage of tourism, the Central Coast of Vietnam has become a regional hotspot with resort complexes and casino projects. In addition, Van Don and Phu Quoc were also targeted.
In particular, Da Nang is currently emerging as the busiest tourist city in Vietnam, around Da Nang is a strip of resort real estate stretching from Hue to Hoi An, which has a favorable geographical location, connected to UNESCO cultural heritage, possessing beautiful beaches, and providing vibrant experiences.
The tourism of this particular region is growing strongly with a large number of tourists coming from China, Japan and Korea. In 2017, Danang welcomed 6,6 million visitors, an increase of 19% over the previous year. In the first 6 months of 2018, the number of visitors to Da Nang was up to 4 million, of which 1.6 million were foreign visitors.
To meet this growth, Da Nang International Airport opened an international terminal in May 2017. The second airport in Hue, about 80 km north of Danang, also supports this growth. According to Savills Vietnam, there are about 109 3 to 5-star hotels providing about 13,000 rooms in this area.
Market research companies believe that the number of high-class hotels in Da Nang has grown 35% in recent years, since 2012, the price of high-class hotel rooms has doubled to 200 USD/ night.
With the incredible growth of tourism, in addition to the high-class luxury hotels and resorts, casino complexes are also being built.
Casino market in Vietnam nowadays
Statistics from the Ministry of Finance show that there are currently 8 enterprises doing casino business in Vietnam, with a total of 408 licensed tables and 4,579 licensed machines.
According to Global Gaming Business, casino projects have appeared in Da Nang, providing full services with gambling machines, card tables, other games and allowing foreigners & Vietnamese citizens to participate. In particular, Ho Tram (180 licensed tables & 2,000 licensed machines) and Nam Hoi An (140 licensed tables & 2,000 licensed machines) are currently the two largest casino projects.
In Da Nang, there is also a casino service at the Crown International Club hotel which has a main gaming floor with 122 machines and 22 tables. According to Global Gaming Business magazine, to meet the increasing demand, Crown International Club will continue to expand. Once completed, the overall project will provide about 1,100 hotel rooms and other recreational facilities. Also in this area, Furama Resort and One Opera hotel also provide automatic slot machines.
The next casino-bustling area is Ho Chi Minh city (formerly known as Saigon), with an extensive collection of roulette tables, slot machines, card games … Most are conveniently set within the city centre’s hotels like Vegas Club at Caravelle Saigon, or within a short ride to the uprising District 2.
New decree – new opportunities
A decree on casino business issued by the Vietnam Government in January 2017 revealed a new prospect for the long-awaited casino field. This decree strictly regulates players, the minimum investment of casino projects, and also enhances the prescribed standards according to international requirements.
Investment capital will determine how many machines and card tables are put into operation. The government allows every $10 million investment to have a gaming table and 10 gaming machines. The total minimum investment capital for the project must be 2 billion USD.
The decree also addresses the issue of participation by Vietnamese citizens in the establishment of a three-year pilot program whereby those with regular incomes of VND 10 million per month can participate in gambling at casinos.
Giants under construction
Located about 30 km south of Danang is Hoiana, spanning 165 hectares along 3 km of coastline, Hoiana’s first phase will include a New World Hotel with 1,176 rooms, and 100 apartments Rosewood Residences, a golf course and a casino with 140 gambling tables.
The project is being developed by Suncity Holdings, VinaCapital Group and VMS Hong Kong. The second phase, including additional hotels, a water park, retail center and lagoon, is expected to open in 2023.
Less than 40 km north of Danang is Laguna Lang Co, a resort complex opened in March 2013 with a total area of 280 ha along the 3 km long beach. Laguna Lang Co currently consists of two five-star hotels – Banyan Tree and Angsana, international standard golf course, spa, conference center, restaurant and entertainment facilities.
Laguna Lăng Cô is entering the next phase of expansion, including building more hotels, providing about 1,300 rooms and a casino entertainment center. Laguna Vietnam has received a certificate of investment license and casino business license from the Vietnamese government, which is conducting the next phase of development of the master plan. This phase is expected to be completed by mid-2022, followed by another development phase including an additional 700 rooms. Currently, the group is completing the necessary procedures to conduct the second phase of development, including the casino.
The development model of Laguna Lang Co resort complex is different from high-rise investment in Hoiana and Crown International. The project will appeal to other gamblers and entertainers who will look to Crown International or Hoiana. However, due to the relatively close proximity of these three complexes, the casino and hotel business model along the central coastline will enhance the overall competitiveness and appeal of the whole area.
The combination of hotels, resorts, commercial areas, water parks, shopping centers and casino complexes along the central coast of Vietnam is creating a new and exciting entertainment destination. Central Vietnam will soon become a shining point in the world’s casino map.