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Thua Thien-Hue province a step closer to casino approval

Minister of Finance Dinh Tien Dung has voiced his support for Singaporean resort developer Banyan Tree Holdings to open a casino in Laguna Lang Co integrated resort complex in the central province of Thua Thien-Hue.

On March 14, during the joint work session of Thua Thien-Hue People’s Committee and the Ministry of Finance (MoF), Thua Thien-Hue laid the plans of Laguna Lang Co resort’s casino to Dung and Dung said he supported Banyan Tree Holdings’ casino proposal because he believed it would benefit both the province and the developer.

In July 2014, Banyan Tree Holdings requested the provincial leaders’ approval, claiming the step would play an important role in the development of Laguna Lang Co resort, the company’s first project in Vietnam.

However, provincial leaders answered that the MoF was in the middle of drafting the nation’s first legal framework for casino businesses, bidding the developer to wait until the National Assembly ratified the decree.

Starting operation in March 2013, the $900 million Languna Lang Co resort is located near Lang Co bay, framed by a three-kilometre beach in Chan May region. This development includes Banyan Tree and Angsana hotels and spas, an 18-hole championship golf course designed by Nick Faldo, private villas and residences available for sale, convention facilities, and a plethora of recreational activities for guests of all ages.

In June 2015, Thua Thien-Hue has proposed that prime minister add the province’s Chan May-Lang Co Economic Zone to the list of areas allowed to have casinos in the country.

It said Chan May-Lang Co was one of the country’s key coastal economic zones having numerous advantages to become an international centre for trade, residential areas, and resorts. Therefore, adding casino business to the manifold advantages of Chan May-Lang Co can further contribute to its development into a tourism centre.

According to the MoF’s statistics, Vietnam currently has 50 licensed electronic gaming service providers and has licensed eight casinos, all of which open to international punters and foreign passport holders exclusively. They include operating casinos in Haiphong city, and Quang Ninh and Lao Cai provinces in the north, Danang city in the central region, and Ba Ria-Vung Tau province in the south.

The other on-going project is the $4 billion South Hoi An integrated casino resort invested by Vietnam-focused asset management firm VinaCapital and Hong Kong-based Chow Tai Fook Enterprises Ltd. in the central province of Quang Nam. The project’s construction is expected to kick-off in the second quarter of 2016, with the first phase expected to be completed in the first quarter of 2019.

By Ha Vy

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