BUSINESS

Red tape reduction a boon to Vietnam’s gambling industry

TAGs: MoF, Vietnam

Red tape seems to be a fundamental part of any government process. It’s also a fundamental part of headaches individuals and businesses receive from government processes. Vietnam is apparently looking to reduce both the red tape and the headaches. The country’s Ministry of Finance (MoF) has proposed a number of cuts to bureaucracy across a wide swathe of industries. If the proposals are approved, it could mean huge improvements in establishing a number of operations, including those in the betting, casino and lottery industries.

Vietnam's gambling industry could see huge boost through reduction in red tapeAccording to local media, the MoF is said to be considering stripping out around 51.4% of the business investment commissions under its control. It would also amend or supplement 16 decrees that could ultimately benefit insurance, gaming, accounting, customs and securities spaces.

The outlets didn’t specify exactly what could be stripped out or amended. However, the mere fact that the MoF wants to make monumental changes is a step in the right direction. It has the potential to reinvigorate the gambling industry and comes after regulators have made several changes to gambling-related legislation.

Vietnam approved a measure last December that would allow locals to gamble in two casinos during a three-year trial program. Currently, casinos are only open to foreign gamblers. While the casinos have yet to be designated, it is believed that the Phu Quoc resort as well as a project in the Quang Ninh province could be included in the pilot program.

More recently, the country gave sports betting a nod. In May, it approved new gambling regulations that now cover a variety of sports and would see new players enter the industry. The law is expected to take effect January 1 of next year and would provide the framework for a five-year pilot program that allows local gamblers to place bets on international soccer games, as well as horse- and dog-racing.

Vietnam also loosened its grip on the casino industry in May when it awarded its first casino license in more than a decade. That license went to Laguna Lăng Cô for its $2-billion resort project in the Thua Thien Hue province. The resort initially opened five years ago, and has been hoping ever since to be granted a casino license. Even though it has the license in hand, Laguna Lăng Cô isn’t yet dealing cards or handing out chips. The casino won’t be ready until 2022.

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