Vietnam eyes casino to boost jobs, tourism

Macau’s gaming success, and even that of Singapore, has Asian countries drooling over the possibility of entering the gaming world, hoping, like their predecessors, casinos would open the door to jobs and tourism and boost their economies.
While Japan seems to be the most likely candidate to offer casino gaming within the next few months, officials in communist Vietnam are hoping to get the ball rolling with legislation soon. According to an article published by Reuters, high-level officials in Vietnam have already undertaken research and hope to use the Van Don Island, near China, as a pilot project.
However, with a patchy record in planning for casino gaming, Vietnam may have trouble attracting the international gaming operator willing to commit to a $4 billion upfront investment.
As Reuters noted, MGM Resorts International (MGM) terminated its management contract prior to the opening in 2013 of a casino that had been proposed in Ho Tram, about two hours from Ho Chi Min City.
The project was planned by Asian Coast Development Ltd. of Vancouver. The company has a license to invest $4.2 billion in a luxury resort casino with 541 rooms, 90 card tables and 600 slot machines. One of its investors was Pinnacle Entertainment Inc. (PNK), which was forced to write off $25 million of its investment because of project delays.
Such delays do not encourage other potential developers. Companies such as Las Vegas Sands Corp. (LVS) (Sheldon Adelson reportedly has visited Vietnam three times); MGM Resorts International, Genting, and Penn National Gaming Inc. (PENN) have all showed an interest.
But, for the most part, it has been a wait-and-see postion.

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