The coastal city of Da Nang has become the first port in Vietnam at which international cruise ships can continue offering casino services while docked.
The Da Nang Department of Culture, Sports and Tourism held a press conference on Wednesday to urge municipal administrators not to take any action against cruise ships that keep their onboard casinos open while docked in Da Nang’s Tien Sa Port.
International cruise ships have traditionally shuttered their onboard casinos while docking in Vietnamese ports, but it’s not completely clear why. As quoted by Tuoi Tre News, the department’s deputy director Tran Chi Cuong told reporters that his office had found “no rules that require foreign ships to close certain services when docking in Vietnam.”
The intention behind the directive is to allow shipboard passengers the full range of their ship’s entertainment options if they choose not to disembark and explore their latest port of call. Cuong said the ultimate goal was to encourage more cruise lines to put Da Nang on their transit list.
Keeping the onboard casinos open won’t interfere with Vietnam’s strict prohibition of its citizens gambling in casinos. Vietnamese law views international cruise ships as foreign territory, so locals would be forced to undergo immigration procedures in order to go aboard, and such procedures are accessible only at a few Vietnamese ports.
ONLINE OPERATORS SENTENCED
In other Vietnamese gambling news, Friday saw the Ho Chi Minh City People’s Court sentence a number of individuals connected with an illegal gambling ring tied to online operators SBOBET and IBET88.
The court proceeding was primarily concerned with a hacking ring that used stolen credit card info to net around $3.5m for the ring’s organizers. But the ring also operated local websites that steered punters to SBOBET and IBET88, earning over $35k in commissions between 2012 and 2013, when authorities pounced.
On Friday, six individuals who’d assisted the ring’s gambling operations were each sentenced to two years in prison while 19 of their unfortunate gambling clients received sentences of between one and a half to two years.