Exploring the Thriving Casino Scene in Ho Chi Minh City

Slot Machines: A Secret Garden in 5-Star Hotels

In the bustling city of Ho Chi Minh, 5-star hotels are not only known for their luxury accommodations but also for housing vibrant slot machine casinos, creating a secret garden for gaming enthusiasts. Caravelle Saigon, a prominent 5-star hotel, stands out with its mesmerizing casino spread across the 1st and 2nd floors. The atmosphere is enchanting, featuring sparkling lights, melodious music, and welcoming smiles from attentive attendants.

The casino boasts an array of roulette, baccarat, and blackjack machines with intriguing names like 5 Dragons, Lotus Princess, Mighty Cash, and more. The colorful machines, each displaying a tantalizing jackpot figure, contribute to the allure. Rumors of substantial winnings circulate, with one fortunate U.S. businessman reportedly scooping up $70,000 recently. These casinos cater primarily to businessmen, investors, and expats residing and working in the city.

Apart from Caravelle Saigon, other 5-star hotels such as Omni, Equatorial, Rex, and Sheraton have embraced the casino trend. The demand is so high that Club 21 in Omni Saigon hotel recently closed for expansion, reflecting the industry’s flourishing growth. Investors are actively seeking spaces within hotels to establish new casinos, further fueling the gaming craze in Saigon.

The Promising Pilot Programs: A New Era for Vietnamese Casinos

Traditionally, casinos in Vietnam were restricted to foreign patrons. However, a groundbreaking development occurred on January 19, 2019, when the first casino exclusively for Vietnamese citizens opened on Phu Quoc Island. This marked the initiation of a pilot program scheduled to last three years, adhering to Government Decree No. 03/2017.

The program’s conditions include an entrance fee of 1 million VND per person for each 24-hour period and strict age verification (21 years or older) along with proof of a monthly income exceeding 10 million VND. This casino is strategically located in a tourist area on Phu Quoc Island, mitigating concerns about proximity to densely populated areas.

Roulette table in Club 9 at First Hotel

Government officials express confidence in the success of this program, emphasizing its controlled environment and exclusive accessibility for those with the financial means to travel. The move is seen as a positive step, providing an avenue for those with gambling interests while curbing the outflow of money to foreign casinos.

Experts view this development as a progressive move to address the inherent demand for gambling, acknowledging that attempts to eliminate such activities have been futile. The legalization of Vietnamese citizens’ participation in casinos aims to fulfill an essential need and retain revenue within the country, preventing enrichment of foreign establishments.


As the pilot program unfolds, the government’s willingness to embrace this aspect of entertainment opens doors for future casino projects. Small-scale initiatives are already underway in Lao Cai, Quang Ninh, Hai Phong, Da Nang, and larger projects in Ba Ria – Vung Tau and Quang Nam provinces. Vietnam is poised to step into a promising future in the realm of legalized gambling, enhancing its appeal as a diverse and dynamic tourist destination.

a guest is checking in the receptionist of Corona Casino

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