Vietnam Proposes $2.2B Integrated Resort and Casino Complex in Van Don

Vietnam’s Ministry of Planning and Investment has put forth an ambitious plan for a $2.2 billion integrated resort and casino in the Van Don Special Economic Zone, nestled in the Quang Ninh Province. 

Vietnam’s Mega Casino Resort Project Nears Approval

The project, set to be completed by the third quarter of 2032 if approved, is a collaboration between the ministry and the Quang Ninh People’s Committee, reported eTurbo News. This initiative, first mentioned by the provincial authority in late 2018, is part of a broader strategy to establish coastal resorts with casino operations. Under the guidelines of Vietnam’s Ministry of Finance, only projects with an investment capital equal to or exceeding $2 billion will be granted a gaming license.

The proposed complex aims to be one of the two casinos in Vietnam permitted to cater to local citizens, a policy established in 2016. The bid for government approval includes plans to initiate the bidding process by the end of 2023, as disclosed by the Quang Ninh People’s Committee in July.

Vietnam’s Ministry of Planning and Investment is optimistic about the potential impact of the project. If given the green light, the resort is expected to generate an average annual after-tax profit of VND8.16 trillion ($336 million), with a break-even point anticipated after 32.8 years of operation. Over the span of 70 years, it is estimated to contribute VND228,000 billion ($9.4 million) to the state budget and provide employment opportunities for approximately 6,000 individuals.

Money Laundering Concerns Hover Over Vietnam’s Casino Project

The proposal, however, comes amidst concerns raised by international officials regarding Vietnam’s ability to address lodi291 money laundering risks in the casino industry. Although Vietnam implemented an anti-money laundering law in March 2023, the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime has expressed reservations, stating that the regulatory and enforcement mechanisms in place may not be robust enough to handle the evolving landscape of transnational organized crime.

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Despite international alarms, the Ministry of Planning and Investment remains steadfast in its pursuit, emphasizing the socio-economic benefits the integrated resort and casino complex could bring to the region. If Prime Minister Pham Minh Chinh gives the go-ahead, construction could commence as early as next year, with the resort anticipated to be ready for guests by 2032.

In other news, in July Hong Kong’s Cheng family officially assumed control of Vietnam’s Hoiana casino resort, previously managed by the Suncity Group led by jailed Macau tycoon Alvin Chau. The $4 billion joint project with LET Group and VinaCapital includes a casino, golf course, and Cheng-branded hotels. 

The management shift aligns with Macau junket operators exploring Southeast Asia due to stricter regulations at home. Vietnam’s relaxed regulations and rebounding tourism make it an attractive destination.