VietNamNet Bridge – Dao Hong Tuyen, a Vietnamese well-known businessman, who is called the “Tuan Chau Island’s King” as he develops a huge project here, has revealed the intention of setting up a casino in Van Don Economic Zone and Tuan Chau, once the government decree on casino management is promulgated.


“Casino is useful for Van Don,” Tuyen said, adding that casinos could be admissible for Vietnamese as well, and that it’s not as difficult to manage casinos as people think.

“80 percent of Vietnamese cross the border gates every day to Cambodia, and Hong Kong and Macau to gamble. This leads to the foreign currency bleeding. Why don’t we use the earnings from casinos for useful purposes, such as relief works?” Tuyen said.

While stressing the necessity of casinos, Tuyen said, he plans to develop casinos, not only in Van Don, but on Tuan Chau Island as well.

“Financial institutions and commercial banks have agreed to provide loans. We are awaiting the government’s decree,” Tuyen said. “We think we would set up a casino in Van Don, and another at a marina on Tuan Chau”.

“This has been approved by competent agencies,” he said.

This has prompted Tuyen to speed up the marina project. He expects to inaugurate the marina by October. As for the casino project, Tuyen and his partners have fulfilled some procedures, proved their financial capability, completed the designing already.

“We plan to pour $4 billion into Van Don. I will submit necessary documents to the authorities in some days,” he said.

While Tuyen seems to be sure about the success of the project, experts keep doubtful about the project feasibility. A lot of investors made forceful statements that they will develop casinos in Vietnam, but they have later shrunk back.

The New City project initiated by Brunei New City Group, capitalized at $4.3 billion in Phu Yen province has not made any considerable progress, though the project was licensed in 2008 already. The $4.1 Saigon Atlantis Hotel in Ba Ria – Vung Tau is facing the same situation, while the $4 billion Bai Bien Rong in Quang Nam province has seen the investment license revoked, since the investors could not prove their financial capability.

In fact, Tuyen has his reasons to put a high hope on the project. On August 14, Minister of Finance Dinh Tien Dung presented the draft decree on the casino management before the National Assembly’s standing committee. National Assembly’s deputies, when discussing the draft, said it’d be better not to prohibit Vietnamese to go to casinos, or this would lead to the foreign currency bleeding.

They have suggested that in the immediate time, Vietnam should allow to set up a casino admissible to Vietnamese in the Van Don Economic Zone. This means that the casino doors which have been closed to all Vietnamese may be opened one day.

Meanwhile, Prof Dr. Nguyen Mai, former Deputy Minister of Planning and Investment, now Chair of the Foreign Invested Enterprises’ Association,  said frankly he does not believe Vietnamese investors are financially capable enough to develop such a big project.

“The Vietnamese richest person has $1.5 billion, according to Forbes. When you spend $7.5 billion, you need to have at least $10 billion in pockets. If you borrow money from banks, you need to have the mortgaged assets worth triple the sum of $7.5 billion,” he explained.

“I don’t believe there would be such a huge project,” Mai concluded.

K. Chi