Corona Casino in Phu Quoc Allows Play from Vietnamese Gamblers
The Corona Resort & Casino in Phu Quoc became the first Vietnamese land-based casino to have unrestricted gambling for local residents. For the past several decades, Vietnamese casinos have had legal gambling for foreign tourists, but not for domestic residents.
For the past couple of years, Vietnam’s government has experimented with policies that allow high-income residents to play for real money at casinos, but those policies were reversible and also limited gambling to those who make $400 or more a month (about 4 times the average).
The Corona Casino was designed to have 100% restrictions on Vietnamese gamblers, but the Ministry of Finance recently decided to change the policy regarding Phu Quoc. The casino has 2,000 slot machines and over 200 gaming tables in its 30,000 square meter gaming space.
The resort also includes a three restaurants, a theater, and a KTV. Outside entertainments include a golf course, a safari park, and an amusement park.
Vingroup and Corona Resort
The casino, which cost $1.1 billion to build, includes a massive entertainment complex. Corona Resort is half-owned by Vingroup, Vietnam’s largest conglomerate. The entire resort complex, which includes retail stores, restaurants, night clubs, and several hotels, cost four times that amount to build. The hotel space includes 2000 rooms and 10 seaside villas for VIP customers.
Vingroup contributed $2.1 billion to build the entire integrated casino resort. Vingroup, which was founded in 1993, also is involved in the real estate and retail industries, as well as service industries like hospitality, theme parks, and healthcare. It has 20 different subsidiares, including 18 with “Vin” in the name: Vinhomes, VinCity, VinCommerce, VinCom, and so on.
The conglomerate’s influence certainly contributed to the decision to legalize casino gambling for Vietnemese citizens at the Corona Resort & Casino.
Uppfinity Gaming Management
Uppfinity, a Dutch casino management company, is the managing partner at Corona Casino. Daniel Kuspin, the CEO of Uppfinity Gaming Management, said the decision to liberalize Vietnamese gaming laws for Corona Resort had led to an uptick in visits and revenues.
Kuspin said his company is “proud that Corona is the first casino for the Vietnamese and pledged to cooperate with the Vietnamese management agencies to make the casino a success.”
Corona Casino Requirements
To enter the casino at all, a player must be 21 years of age or older. Like the mainland law, Vietnamese casino goers must prove they earn $430 a month or more to enter the casino. Like the Japanese and Singaporean casino industries, residents must pay a fee to enter the property. At Corona Casino, the entry fee is $50.
The VIP visitors also must buy a monthly permit which costs $1,100. That means a visit only makes sense to a high roller, because even a mid stakes player who can pay the $50 entry fee would balk at the $1100 in additional fees. Even a lucky player likely would not clear $1,100 in winnings unless they wagered in high stakes games.
Corona Casino will have a VIP area called the “Sky Casino”. In the main casino, players will find popular table games like baccarat, blackjack, roulette, sic bo and several forms of poker. Westerners should expect to see more baccarat and sic bo tables than they would in a casino in their homeland, due to the Asian preference for such games.
Phu Quoc Island
Phu Quoc is the largest island in Vietnam. Its geographic isolation makes it a good test case for unrestricted gambling for Vietnamese gamblers, because it naturally would skew towards higher income residents visiting the tourist spot.
Phu Quoc is located off Kien Giang Province at the southwestern edge of Vietnam. Phu Quoc actually sits closest to the coast of Cambodia and is easily accessed by visitors from Phnom Penh or Ho Chi Mihn City.