The Vietnam government proposes to scrap the personal income tax (PIT) on earnings from casinos. Under the existing law on Personal Tax Income, the government shall impose a 10% tax on winners of more than VND10 million ($47.6) in casinos and lotteries.
However, the country’s Minister of Finance Dinh Tienn Dung told Vietnamnet that determining people’s winnings is “impossible”, making it difficult to impose taxes on those earnings.
Instead of the PIT, the government is proposing an increase in special consumption tax from 30% to 35%. Scrapping the PIT likely means that state coffers will lose close to VND200 billion ($9.52 million) in revenue a year but the increase in special consumption tax could offset those numbers. Should the National Assembly approve the proposal, the state budget could be in line to receive close to VND517 billion ($24.62 million) annually.
“The rise in SCT for casinos and the removal of PIT for casino winners will help simplify tax policies for casinos in line with international practices,” said a government report on the impacts of the draft amendments, as quoted by Vietnamnet. “Under the Ministry of Finance’s calculations, the contributions made to the state budget by businesses will not change after the rise in SCT and removal of PIT.”
The proposed tax amendments also means that tax levied on casinos would now include the increased 35% special consumption tax to go with a 22% corporate income tax, and a 10% value-added tax.
Meanwhile, the Grand Ho Tram casino expects to be chosen as part of the Vietnam government’s pilot scheme that will allow locals to gamble. Ho Tram Project Co Ltd General Director Colin Pine told GGRAsia that the casino is the best suited to host this pilot program, citing that the Ho Tram Strip is the “only international-standard integrated resort that has been constructed and that complies with international standards” in Vietnam.
The proposed shift to allow Vietnamese locals to gamble comes at a time when the country is in the process of expanding its casino offerings. The Grand Ho Tram Strip was the first international caliber resort and casino to open in the country and two more developments are being planned by investors, including one in the country’s central coastal region and one near the capital of Hanoi.
The expansion has given rise to discussions on changing the current legal framework in the country, doing away with the current case-by-case system and transitioning into a national legal framework that could apply to all casinos.