Vietnam’s casino industry just 3% the size of Cambodia’s

TAGs: Cambodia, Vietnam

cambodia-vietnam-casino-comparisonVietnam’s casino industry was worth a mere $61.3m in 2014, while the casino business in neighboring Cambodia was worth over $2b.

On Wednesday, the Institute for Regional Sustainable Development (IRSD) released a report showing Vietnam’s eight foreigners-only casinos earned combined revenue of VND 1.38t last year, of which VND 339b went to the government in the form of taxes.

On the same day, Cambodia’s central bank chief announced that her country’s casino industry generated annual revenue of $2b. Like Vietnam, Cambodia doesn’t allow its locals to gamble at its casinos, and Chea Serey, director general of the National Bank of Cambodia, claimed that income generated by casinos from non-residents “represents about 40% of total international travel credits.”

With the exception of the NagaWorld facility in Phnom Penh, most of Cambodia’s 59 casinos are small-scale affairs clustered near border crossings with Vietnam and Thailand. Using just Vietnam’s southern province Tay Ninh as an example, the IRSD estimated that around 200 Vietnamese cross the border into Cambodia every day to gamble, rising to 800 per day on weekends.

This continued outbound transfer of capital has led Vietnam’s government to flirt with the idea of allowing locals to enter casinos and engage in legal sports betting, but so far it’s been all talk. Perhaps this reminder of the relative size of Vietnam’s casino industry compared to Cambodia’s will spur Vietnam’s leaders to act, if only out of a misguided desire to keep up with the Joneses.

Meanwhile, Vietnam’s only major integrated resort has undergone a management shuffle. Last Friday, the Ho Tram Resort Casino’s parent company, Asian Coast Development Ltd (ACDL), announced the appointment of Michael Kelly as executive chairman, responsible for all aspects of the company’s daily operations as well as the development of its future phases.

Kelly replaces chairman/CEO Stephen Shoemaker, who is moving to another role at ACDL. Kelly will also be assuming the duties of former ACDL president Shaun McCamley, who told World Gaming Magazine that he and the company had mutually agreed that it was time for him to step aside due to “a misalignment in views as to the future direction the company now needs to move.”


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