The Sun Group is the only operator approved to develop a casino in Vietnam’s Van Don Economic Zone in Quang Ninh province, according to local officials.
On Friday, Vietnam Investment Review reported that the Quang Ninh People’s Committee had replied to a request by the Sun Group, which sought to confirm that it is the only developer that has received approval to operate casino gambling in the region’s special economic zone.
The Sun Group was apparently prompted to seek this confirmation after reports circulated last month that another developer, FLC Group, had received the green light from Quang Ninh officials to build its own $2b integrated resort casino in the Van Don zone.
The April 17 letter from Quang Ninh People’s Committee deputy chair Nguyen Van Thanh unequivocally states that Sun Group “is the province’s strategic developer, and was chosen by the province to report to the prime minister as the only developer of the luxury resort-entertainment complex with a casino, according to the master plan approved by the prime minister, and allowed to pilot allowing Vietnamese citizens to play in the casino.”
The letter appears to suggest that the FLC group might be allowed to proceed with its proposed hotel, convention center, golf course and other non-gaming attractions, but gaming activity will be reserved for the Sun Group’s project. The VIR claimed that Quang Ninh had only approved the FLC Group’s proposal to conduct a study on building a casino in the Van Zone zone.
Sun Group’s Quang Ninh casino will be one of only two gaming venues that will allow Vietnamese nationals to gamble under the government’s three-year pilot program. The VinGroup’s in-development casino on Phu Quoc island will also be part of this trial of the government’s relaxation of its longstanding prohibition on local residents gambling in the nation’s casinos.