Hundreds of million of dollars poured into horse racing courses

VietNamNet Bridge - The Ministry of Planning and Investment (MPI) has submitted a project on a horse racing course to the PM for approval.


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This is a complex consisting of a horse racing course, villas and conference center, covering an area of 125 hectares in Soc Son district in Hanoi. The total investment capital of the complex is VND9.6 trillion, or $420 million. Of that figure, the race course alone costs $350 million.

The project got the nod from the government more than 10 years ago. However, as the legal framework was not complete at that moment, it was suspended.

Other investors are also pouring huge capital into horse race courses associated with hotels, resorts and betting activities.

In the south, the horse racing course project in Phu Yen province, capitalized at $100 million (VND2.3 trillion) got approval from provincial authorities in 2016. In late 2018, the authorities asked for the PM and relevant ministries’ approval for additional services of horse and dog race betting.

Just days ago, Da Nang municipal authorities granted an investment license to a $200 million horse race course and training center project to Keyhinge Toys Vietnam.

In the south, the horse racing course project in Phu Yen province, capitalized at $100 million (VND2.3 trillion) got approval from provincial authorities in 2016. In late 2018, the authorities asked for the PM and relevant ministries’ approval for additional services of horse and dog race betting.

Can Tho authorities have also allowed investors to consider developing a horse racing course and a complex of hotels and resorts, valued at $500 million in the province.

Among licensed projects, Dai Nam in Binh Duong province is the only operational horse racing course, commencing from 2017.

Analysts say that Decree 06, which took effect in 2017, is an important legal document which encourages investors to pour big money into the field.

Regarding the Soc Son horse racing course in Hanoi, investors expect revenue of VND4.8 trillion a year. Meanwhile, the Hanoi authorities estimate that if the complex becomes operational, the city would be able to collect $40-50 million in corporate income tax every year.

In addition, the revenue from luxury tax collection could be up to $100-200 million. As such, $140-250 million (VND5.7 trillion) would go to the local budget.

Huynh The Du from Fulbright University said these are legitimate businesses but that there were risks from betting activities. He said even when Vietnam has a legal framework to control the activities, it may turn into disguised gambling.

Other experts also recommended caution because Vietnam still doesn’t have management experience in this field. MPI has warned of the negative impact which horse racing projects may have on socio-economic development.

To implement Soc Son project, 80 hectares of rice fields will be taken and 3,200 agriculture workers affected, while only 600 new jobs will be generated.


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Mai Chi

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