GGRAsia reports it has received confirmation the Corona Resort and Casino in Vietnam is planning its grand opening this Saturday. The resort, which is located on Phu Quoc Island, is the first in Vietnam to make significant progress in the country’s gambling industry. As soon as it opens its doors, Corona will allow eligible locals to gamble.
According to the managing director and CEO of Upffinity Gaming Management (UGM), Daniel Kupsin, “We plan to open for business, including local citizens of Vietnam from the evening of January 19.” UGM is based in the Netherlands and was appointed by the Phu Quoc Tourism Development and Investment Company JSC (PQTD), a local property development and real estate firm, in 2017 to offer “casino management and advisory services” for Corona. The PQTD is controlled by Vingroup, a Vietnamese conglomerate.
Upon opening, all the amenities within the casino’s premises will be ready for use. These include all gambling activities, all restaurants and all entertainment outlets, among others. Kupsin adds that the venue was designed by Steelman Partners LLP, architectural firm out of the U.S. that has aided in the design of a number of large casinos across Asia and elsewhere.
The casino spans two floors and offers 202,361 square feet of total space. It will reportedly be open 24 hours a day and includes 100 gaming tables – baccarat, blackjack, sic bo, roulette and poker – and also offers 1,000 slot machines and almost 1,000 electronic gaming machines.
Corona is the first property to invite locals to gamble. Vietnam has launched a three-year pilot program to economically-qualified individuals in order to ascertain whether or not to roll out more local gambling venues. A second casino will participate in the pilot and is expected to be located in Van Don. The latter is being developed by Sun Group, which is based in Vietnam, and is being built in a remote area around 100 miles east of Hanoi.
Vietnam once had a hardline stance against local gambling. It softened its position in 2017 and agreed to offer the pilot program. To qualify, locals must be at least 21 years old and have a monthly income of VND10 million ($432) or more. They must also pay an entry fee to gain access to the gambling floors.