Vietnam: New gambling regulations

Author: | Published: 24 Apr 2017
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On January 16 2017, the Government issued Decree 03/2017/ND-CP (Decree 03) on casino business, after more than a decade in the drafting stage. Under this decree, a casino business enterprise is permitted to operate only within an integrated entertainment, services and tourism zone with minimum investment capital of $2 billion. Decree 03 also mentions 'small scale casino operating enterprises' with total investment capital of less than $2 billion but no specific guidance on this has been given yet. Aside from an investment registration certificate (or investment policy decision), the investment project in an integrated zone is also required to have a certificate for casino business for satisfaction of conditions issued by the Ministry of Finance. Decree 03 also regulates the number of gaming machines and gaming tables based on the total committed investment capital of the project, with maximum of one gaming table and 10 gaming machines for every $10 million of investment capital. The decree also provides that for a period of three years (from the date on which the first casino business enterprise was licensed to conduct the trial), Vietnamese resident citizens, subject to certain restrictions, are permitted to gamble at casino business locations, on a pilot basis.

On January 24 2017, the government issued Decree 06/2017/ND-CP (Decree 06) on horse and greyhound racing and on international soccer, which for the first time allows betting in these areas. Currently, the draft circular guiding Decree 06 is being circulated for comments. The minimum investment capital is approximately $45 million for betting on horseracing and international soccer, and $14 million for greyhound racing. The enterprise is also required to apply for a certificate for betting business satisfaction of conditions issued by the Ministry of Finance. For betting business on horse/greyhound racing, in case two or more investors express interest, the selection of the investor to implement the investment project in the construction of a racecourse shall be conducted through bidding in accordance with the Law on Bidding. For betting business on international soccer, only one enterprise is permitted by the Government to conduct such business during a five-year trial period.

Decree 03 and Decree 06 took effect on March 15 and 31 respectively.

Ohya   Kazuhide Ohya and Vo Hue My