Vietnamese hospitality wins big

Strengthening Private Sector’s Roles Vietnam Business Forum 2016 (VBF 2016) was held in Hanoi on December 5, 2016 with the theme of “Strengthening the private sector - Fostering partnership between domestic and foreign enterprises for a harmonious development of the Vietnamese economy”. VBF2016 discussed how to strengthen the partnership between the domestic private sector with foreign investors in all fields and industries so as to enhance competitiveness and penetrability of small and medium sized enterprises into global supply and production chains and foster supporting industries through legislation, finance, accounting and tax policy. Besides, the forum delved into such topics as human resources and training demands, infrastructure improvement, public-private partnership (PPP) and build-operate-transfer (BOT), capital market, private investment attraction towards green and sustainable development, domestic and foreign investment in bio-energy and renewable energy, mitigation of climate change impacts, and regulations on environmental protection. Speaking at the forum, Prime Minister Nguyen Xuan Phuc said that the reality of the 30-year renovation (doi moi) process has proved convincingly that the private economic sector is an important driving force of the Vietnamese economy and lift Vietnam’s position in global economic value chains. Vietnam now has 600,000 registered firms with many private companies performing well both in Vietnam and in the world such as Vietnam Airlines, FPT, Vinamilk, TH True Milk, Bitis, Viet Jet Air and Saigon Tourist. 2016 is the first year when Vietnam has more than 100,000 new businesses established. Besides, more than 3.5 million business households in the country hold great potential…... [read more]

Draft decree allows Vietnamese in casinos Manh Tung By Manh Tung - The Saigon Times Daily HCMC – The Ministry of Finance is finalizing a new draft Government decree on casino business, which permits Vietnamese citizens who are 21 years old or older could enter casinos in the country. Article 10 of the draft decree says foreigners, overseas Vietnamese and Vietnamese citizens at age 21 or older could be able to play at domestic casinos. This is considered the most notable change to the licensing of casino business in Vietnam after years of intense debate. The Prime Minister would determine the detailed requirements and would decide which casinos could let Vietnamese citizens in. Currently, only foreigners and Vietnamese holding foreign passports and residing overseas are permitted to go to local casinos. In seminars, many experts suggested Vietnamese be allowed to enter domestic casinos to better control gambling activities. Although the existing regulations prohibit Vietnamese to gamble but cannot prevent Vietnamese from playing at casinos overseas. Tran Du Lich, a National Assembly (NA) deputy in HCMC, told the Daily that permitting Vietnamese to play at casinos remains a sensitive mater, so this requires careful consideration. The draft decree should go before the NA Standing Committee and deputies will make more suggestions. If Vietnamese are permitted to gamble at casinos, the Government should set out strict rules to prevent negative impacts on the economy and society, Lich proposed. Associate Professor Vo Van Sen, president of the HCMC University of Social Sciences and…... [read more]

Local gaming seen from international practices The Saigon Times Daily Over the past decade, there has been considerable debate over whether local Vietnamese should be allowed entry to domestic casinos. With Vietnamese increasingly spending a significant amount of money gaming overseas, the relevant authorities are assessing the advantages to local gaming for the purpose of developing a comprehensive legal framework that will properly govern the casino industry in Vietnam. Practical benefits In Asia generally and Southeast Asia particularly, many countries allow local citizens to participate in prize-winning games, including gaming at casinos. When looking at neighboring countries such as China, Singapore, Malaysia, South Korea, the Philippines, combined casino revenues are in the billions of dollars annually, according to Vietnam Lottery Company. In 2005, Singapore’s Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong marked an important milestone for the country’s gaming industry and economy by removing a four-decade ban on casinos that had been in place since the country’s inception in 1965. Prime Minister Lee’s decision helped accelerate Singapore’s move toward greater international integration and development in the gaming industry. In just their first year of operations in 2011, Singapore’s two integrated resorts and casinos, the Marina Bay Sands and Sentosa, contributed S$1.1 billion in taxes to the Singaporean government. In total, these two projects have also created 30,000 jobs for local workers. In Cambodia, although statistics have not yet been released, annual revenue from casinos is estimated at US$250 million, of which Vietnamese gamers make a significant contribution. According to statistics from the…... [read more]

VietNamNet Bridge - The Ministry of Finance (MOF), which is drafting a government decree on casino business management, has once again barred Vietnamese from entry. Only foreigners and Viet Kieu (overseas Vietnamese) would be allowed to enter casinos in Vietnam. As such, the arguments about the ‘dollar bleeding’ across the border gates and the clearly visible economic benefits cited by investors and economists could not persuade MOF to open casino doors to Vietnamese. MOF, while admitting the big economic benefits, was hesitant about activities which may be called ‘gambling’. The ‘head shaking’ of MOF, the advisory agency to the government, is contrary to the National Assembly’s Standing Committee’s view. At a session in 2014, the then chair of the National Assembly’s Legal Committee Nguyen Van Hien said it was necessary to consider expanding eligibility for casino entry. The Ministry of Finance (MOF), which is drafting a government decree on casino business management, has once again barred Vietnamese from entry. Only foreigners and Viet Kieu (overseas Vietnamese) would be allowed to enter casinos in Vietnam. He said that though Vietnamese are prohibited to gamble, they still go to casinos in Hong Kong, Cambodia and Singapore. The then deputy chair of the National Assembly Uong Chu Luu and deputy chair Nguyen Thi Kim Ngan, now chair of the National Assembly, also proposed opening casinos to Vietnamese. They said that if the casinos in Vietnam did not receive Vietnamese, people would go abroad gambling. Local newspapers have reported various unseemly incidents related to…... [read more]

As the government mulls over plans to lift the ban on Vietnamese citizens gambling in local casinos, Andrew W Scott, chief executive officer of World Gaming Group Ltd. and founder of the World Gaming Magazine, writes on this contentious issue within a wider international context. Over the past decade, there has been considerable debate over whether local Vietnamese should be allowed entry into domestic casinos. With Vietnamese increasingly spending significant amounts of money gaming overseas, relevant authorities are assessing the advantages of local gaming as well as how to go about developing a comprehensive legal framework that will properly govern the casino industry in Vietnam. The "smokeless industry" and its practical benefits In many countries throughout Asia and Southeast Asia, local citizens are legally allowed to participate in prize-winning games, including gaming at casinos. In neighbouring countries such as China, Singapore, Malaysia, South Korea, and the Philippines, casino revenues are in the billions of dollars annually. In 2005, Prime Minister of Singapore Lee Hsien Loong marked an important milestone for the country’s gaming industry and economy by removing a four-decade ban on casinos that had been in place since the country’s inception in 1965. Prime Minister Lee’s decision helped accelerate Singapore’s move towards greater international integration and development in the gaming industry. In just the first year of opening Singapore’s two integrated resorts and casinos, the Marina Bay Sands and Sentosa, these facilities contributed US$880 million in taxes to the Singaporean government in 2011. In total, these two projects have…... [read more]

Vietnam’s government has given the green light to the opening of casinos on the southern island of Phu Quoc following a plan by local authorities, according to the Government Office. Prime Minister Nguyen Tan Dung has approved the development of tourism projects that include casino components on Phu Quoc Island, which is under the administration of Kien Giang Province, the office announced on Saturday. Under a scheme by the Kien Giang administration, investors who want to operate gaming facilities on the island must commit capital of at least US$4 billion. Accordingly, the Prime Minister has assigned the Ministry of Planning and Investment to coordinate with the provincial authorities and relevant state agencies to work more on the details for the establishment of such projects in accordance with regulations. After that, they need to submit a complete report on the casino and related issues to the Prime Minister for consideration after the government issues a decree on casino business, the Government Office said. Previously, in a report to the central government on the establishment of a special economic zone on Phu Quoc, provincial authorities said it had set aside an area of 30,000m² for building casinos with 200-400 roulette tables and 2,000 gaming machines, in addition to conference centers and an international five-star hotel with 3,000 rooms. Phu Quoc Island is located off the western coast of the Mekong Delta province of Kien Giang. The southern island is also situated in the heart of Southeast Asia and an economic belt between…... [read more]

Betting on international football matches will surely be legalized in Vietnam, according to a lawmaker of the National Assembly (NA). Tuoi Tre (Youth) newspaper on the sidelines of an NA meeting yesterday that the legalization of such betting should be done as soon as possible. The NA has urged the central government to compile regulations on the legalization, but the Ministry of Finance suggested delaying it for a time for further studies of the experiences of other countries, Chieu added. After regulations on the betting of horse racing and dog racing have been passed, the finance ministry said it will put forward a deadline for the preparation of rules on international football betting so that the NA can set a time frame for legalizing it. International football betting has become a major issue since it is increasingly popular in the country. Vietnamese people are believed to have spent tens of thousands of billions of dong (VND1 trillion = US$48.1 million) on matches of the 2014 FIFA World Cup in June and July with bookmakers abroad. The legalization of international football betting in Vietnam is no longer a matter of yes or no, but a matter of when, Chieu noted. It has been delayed for years because Vietnamese authorities want to have tight control on betting activities, especially online football wagering with international bookmakers, he added. However, Vietnam can do this technically to integrate with the world, he said. As for allowing Vietnamese people to enter casinos in Vietnam, Chieu said…... [read more]

More Vietnamese experts and high-profile officials are agreeing with a proposal by the Ministry of Finance to allow Vietnamese residents to enter the country's casinos, which are currently only open to foreigners. The issue of whether to allow Vietnamese punters to gamble at home has sparked a fierce and lengthy debate over the last few years. However, Vietnam took one step closer to lifting the ban on local gamblers after the finance ministry suggested that any Vietnamese above 21 years of age with adequate financial ability should be able to play at casinos operating in the country. The proposition, described in the ministry's latest amendment of a draft decree on the gaming business, is seen as "positive progress," as in its previous draft versions the ministry proposed that only international gamblers and foreign passport holders should be permitted to enter casinos in Vietnam. Many industry insiders and experts voiced support for the proposition after being asked to join a recent roundtable discussion by Tuoi Tre (Youth) newspaper. A manager of a five-star hotel based in Ho Chi Minh City, which legally runs prize-winning electronic games for foreigners, said the latest proposal is "a good sign for gambling industry investors." "This will help Vietnam lure more foreign visitors, increase tax collections, and prevent its residents from wasting money at overseas casinos," he said, while asking not to be named. He underscored the importance of having strict regulations for Vietnamese gamblers. "Gamblers have to pay a fee of 100 Singaporean dollars [roughly…... [read more]

Vietnam's Ministry of Finance is soliciting feedback from relevant ministries and industries on a draft decree on the gambling business, which suggests allowing local residents meeting certain criteria to enter the now foreigners-only casinos. gamble at home, the finance ministry said in the draft decree. In its previous draft versions, the ministry proposed that only international punters and foreign passport holders should be permitted to enter casinos operating in Vietnam. The Prime Minister will specify conditions Vietnamese punters have to meet to be eligible for gambling in domestic casinos, as well as decide on which gambling venues will be allowed to receive local gamblers, according to the draft decree. Gamblers will be required to present documents proving they are eligible for gambling before entering a gaming venue, the ministry's draft decree says, adding that these documents include identity cards in the case of Vietnamese residents and passports and visas for foreigners and overseas Vietnamese. Lucky punters have the rights to ask casino operators to keep information regarding their winning and prize claiming secret, according to the draft fiat. Professor Ha Ton Vinh, an expert with knowledge of casino operations, said the ministry's proposition is a breakthrough as it is the first-ever formal proposal to allow Vietnamese to gamble at home. Vinh said many other nations also recommend that local residents be allowed to enter casinos, as long as there is tight management on them. "By permitting Vietnamese to enter casinos, we are following the world trend," he asserted. The professor…... [read more]

VietNamNet Bridge - A 21-year-old Vietnamese would be old enough to play at domestic casinos, under a draft decree on casino management from the Ministry of Finance (MOF). Article No 10 of the draft decree says foreigners, Viet Kieu (overseas Vietnamese) and Vietnamese citizens 21 years old or older would be able to play at the casinos in Vietnam. The Prime Minister will determine the detailed requirements and will determine which casinos will be opened to Vietnamese. After five years of arguments, Vietnam has begun to seriously think about developing casinos for Vietnamese, a "delicate matter" in the past. Vietnamese have been prohibited in the past to play at casinos, which were only open to foreign travelers, expats and Viet Kieu. The government of Vietnam was persistent in not allowing Vietnamese to gamble at casinos, even though foreign investors promised to develop multi-billion dollar resorts with casinos if the casinos would admit Vietnamese players. Only in June 2013 did the Communist Party's Politburo agree in principle to allow Vietnamese to go to the Van Don Casino in the Van Don Special Economic Zone in Cam Pha District of Quang Ninh Province. In April 2014, the National Assembly's Steering Committee showed its agreement to the proposal on allowing Vietnamese to go to casinos. The chair of the National Assembly's Justice Committee, Nguyen Van Hien, said Vietnam should not hesitate to open casinos to Vietnamese. Hien said that although the Vietnamese laws prohibit Vietnamese to gamble, the laws cannot prevent Vietnamese from…... [read more]




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