Last update 2/28/2012 12:20:00 PM (GMT+7)

Casino and the choice of Vietnam

VietNamNet Bridge – If Vietnam nods its agreement on the 6 billion dollar resort complex suggested by Las Vegas Sands, it would have to accept many other casino projects worth multi-billion dollars in the time to come. Professor Dr Nguyen Mai, former Deputy Chair of the Vietnam State Committee for Cooperation and Investment, now Chair of the Vietnam Association of Foreign Invested Enterprises VAFIE showed his viewpoint.

Las Vegas Sands wishes to enter Vietnam, with casino

Casinos: government keeps cautious, investors get impatient

Casino question: Should Vietnam try to “gamble?”

Mai said:

In the region, China, a large country with high population, does not have casino; Hong Kong also does not have casino. Hong Kong’s residents have to go gambling in Macau. Chinese people also once flocked to Macau to gamble. However, the number of Chinese people going abroad to gamble has decreased significantly after a lot of new management measures taken by the authorities.

Let’s see what Vietnam has. Eighteen years ago, the Hai Phong City’s authorities successfully persuaded the government to try with Do Son casino. However, as Vietnamese people have been not admitted, the casino cannot develop which keeps the same scale of 18 years ago. The income from Do So casino proves to be modest.

Beyond the Moc Bai border gate are 7-8 Cambodian casino centers. A lot of Vietnamese players go there to gamble, and many of them have become penniless.

When I traveled to Australia, I could see a lot of Vietnamese people going to Crown, Melbourne casinos to gamble, and many of them have lost their homes.

A lot of bad things and evils can be brought by casinos, while Vietnamese indulge in gambling.

So what do you think about the casino projects?

As Vietnam has entered a new stage of development, it needs to think carefully about casino projects.

As far as I know, the Ministry of Planning and Investment is drawing up a new policy on foreign direct investment (FDI) attraction. This would be the new strategy on attracting FDI which would basically change the Vietnamese investment policies.

To date, Vietnam has been trying to attract FDI which brings capital, technologies and creates jobs. However, the new investment strategy would attach much importance to the investment quality and socio-economic efficiency. Especially, Vietnam highlights the sustainable development. Therefore, the priority order in FDI attraction would see some big changes.

Vietnam should prioritize to call for investment projects using modern technologies, the projects on high grade services, energy saving fields, environment friendly or important fields such as education.

However, Vietnam must not offer investment incentives to casino projects.

Foreigners seem to think that if casinos are opened, the government of Vietnam would allow Vietnamese to go to the casinos. They may think that the casinos would be very profitable, because they think that Vietnamese people are getting richer, and they can see in Cambodia, Australia and Las Vegas that Vietnamese indulge in gambling.

I think that the government should refuse casino projects. If the government holds a referendum, it would receive the question “no.”

However, investors have said their casinos would be opened to serve international travelers?

If they expect to make profits by serving international travelers, they should question why Do Son casino in Hai Phong and Loi Lai in Quang Ninh cannot develop. Of they nurture a fantastic hope that Vietnam would allow Vietnamese to gamble one day?

But the projects would bring huge capital to Vietnam?

Foreign experts comment that Vietnam now has the right to choose the growth model for itself.

Now we are capable and powerful enough to choose the things we need.

The best choice for us is to say “no.”

But the investor promises that the casino would be admissive to foreigners, I think that the casino should be located on Phu Quoc Island which is surrounded by the sea. In this case, the management work would be simpler. I do not think that with the current mechanism, will we be able to prevent the social evils to be arisen if the casino is opened in Hanoi or HCM City.

Source: TBKTVN