Vietnam to set minimum income levels for gamblers

Vietnam plans a two-tier system for allowing locals into its casinos, with one tier establishing minimum income requirements for those wishing to gamble on a regular basis, Vietnamnet Bridge reported, citing an unnamed senior Finance Ministry official.The first tier will include people who play regularly and who pay personal income tax at the third level, which means that their monthly income must be at least VND15 million.

The second group, which includes players who are irregular patrons, must prove they have valuable assets (saving books, etc…) of the same value.

The web site cited Nguyen Truong Son, chair of Bao Son Group, as saying casinos may follow a method similar to that used in golf clubs, where players have to buy membership cards worth $50,000 to $100,000, which would serve as a deposit.

Australia-listed Donaco International on Monday said opening up the casino market to local residents would likely prove a major boost to its business in Vietnam. The company said its revenue in the country rose 33 percent last year, but that was largely before the opening of its new luxury resort in Lao Cai in the north of the country.

The company said the timing and details of any such opening to locals are still unclear, but at present the country is estimated to be losing about $800 million a year in revenue as a result of Vietnamese citizens crossing into Cambodia to gamble.