Construction of Nam Hoi An Casino Resort to begin

Construction of the $4 billion Nam Hoi An Casino Resort project will begin on April 23, local media reports.

The integrated resort, invested through a joint venture of Vietnam-focused asset management firm VinaCapital, Macau-based SunCity Group and Hong Kong-based Chow Tai Fook Enterprises Ltd., will be built in the UNESCO heritage city of Hoi An in the central Quang Nam Province in Vietnam.

Phase one construction is expected to include luxury apartments and villas, a golf course, an amusement park and is estimated to cost approximately $500 million, to be completed by the first quarter of 2019.

State-run media put the value of the entire project at about 19 trillion dong ($870 million). The five-year project will include villas, a golf course, an entertainment park, an eco-park and a cable car service, while city authorities are also apparently keen to add a casino, a five-star hotel, and a marina.

The resort will become Vietnam’s second largest casino after the Ho Tram Strip resort.

Licensed in 2010, the project was initially developed by VinaCapital and Genting Malaysia Berhad, but was delayed, especially after Genting announced its withdrawal from the project in September 2012.

Last October, it was reported the Vietnam government is mulling legislation that may legalize online gambling and allow local Vietnamese to enter the country’s casinos in a bid to stop an outflow of funds from residents flocking to neighbouring Cambodia. Local access is expected to be allowed on a trial basis in one or more of the country’s large integrated resorts, such as the Ho Tram Resort Casino, formerly known as the Grand Ho Tram. However, there is still no clear timeframe for the legislation.