Vietnam casino opening a matter of time, Donaco’s Lim says

    A decision by Vietnam’s government to open the country’s casino market to locals is not imminent, but is only a matter of time, Donaco International managing director Joey Lim told delegates at G2E Asia. The government is discussing a bill to formalize and liberalize its casino industry to bring much needed transparency to the sector. Allowing the participation of locals is one of the most controversial aspects of the bill, but it is also the one that excites foreign investor interest. According to estimates, Vietnam is currently losing about $800 million a year in tax revenue from locals crossing the border into neighbouring Cambodia to gamble. About 1,500 Vietnamese cross the border into their neighbour daily. The government is keen to recoup the lost tax revenue. Lim said for the future viability of the business in Vietnam there needs to be more transparency in regulation.