Vietnam moves to lift locals casino ban

    The Ministry of Finance has completed a controversial draft decree that could open casinos to Vietnamese gamblers, local press reported. According to the draft being submitted to PM Dung for approval, casinos will be open to Vietnamese citizens aged 21 and up who will have to meet certain background and financial criteria that the government will define at a later date. The regulation’s authors also proposed banning casinos from operating online gambling services, Thanh Nien Daily reported.

    Vietnam’s casinos are currently only open to foreign passport holders. The draft decree proposed that the Prime Minister select which casinos will become open to local gamblers. The final draft also proposed easing requirements for casino investors in Vietnam. Investors or managing partners will only be required to demonstrate at least five years experience, instead of ten years as suggested in a previous draft.

    However, the finance ministry maintained that gaming companies need to invest at least $4 billion and has the operation of a maximum of 200 tables and 2,000 machines.

    The draft decree proposed capping maximum fines for investment violations at $9,400 combined with a 18 month license suspension for repeated violations, local press reported.