Vietnam’s ‘Valley of Love’ Wants Approval to Build a Casino

Posted on: February 14, 2023, 07:02h. 

Last updated on: February 14, 2023, 09:03h.

Vietnam has a number of casinos catering to foreigners, except in one of its most popular tourist destinations, the city of Da Lat. Also known as the “Valley of Love,” the region wants to change that oversight, and is planning to seek federal approval for a gaming property.

Da Lat, Vietnam
Tourist attractions in the city of Da Lat, Vietnam. The local government is exploring the possibility of increasing tourism through greater nightlife and a casino. (Image: Dreamstime)

Located in the Central Highlands region of Vietnam’s Lam Dong province, Da Lat receives around 1.5 million tourists a year. Of these, around 300,000 are foreigners, and the city believes it’s time to offer them a casino.

The city’s government is reportedly preparing a proposal in hopes of realizing its dream, according to local media outlet Vietnam Plus. Currently, there are nine casinos in the country, although only one has received approval for gambling by locals.

Night Life and Bright Lights

The People’s Committee of Da Lat City recently issued a plan to implement a pilot model to spur nighttime economic development in the area with many new and unique types of sightseeing, shopping, and entertainment.

Nguyen Van Son, Vice Chairman of Da Lat City People’s Committee, said in a statement that the project aims to form and develop new models of tourism. It would include shopping and nighttime entertainment to exploit and promote the potential of local night economic development.

The city believes this will contribute to a positive impact in changing the nighttime appearance of Da Lat. It will also help reduce traffic pressure in the central area, raise income, and improve the overall quality of life in the region.

The official also emphasized the need to develop the region’s nighttime economy. He said it’s equally as important to limit the risks and negative impacts of the nighttime economy on political security and social order in the area.

The plan is to roll out changes in stages. Specifically, Da Lat would build a water music park in the city’s flower garden. It would also construct a “food street” running 2,952 feet in a section of Da Lat that the government has already singled out.

Over the next seven years, if it can get approval and find investors, the city will deploy more pedestrian and performing arts areas. It will increase its focus on shopping and sightseeing, and build a new night market with a more modern, aesthetic form. That will include a major economic complex that will be home to various activities, such as entertainment, clubs, and a casino.

Vietnam Continues to Explore Local Gambling

Vietnam, for the most part, prohibits gambling by locals. Eight of the country’s nine casinos cater only to foreigners. The Corona Resort & Casino in Phu Quoc is the exception, participating in a government-approved pilot to allow residents to gamble.

The pilot has shown that locals are better window shoppers than gamblers. The property reported that 65% of its customers between 2019 and 2021 were Vietnamese, but they only provided 5% of the casino’s revenue.

The pilot program was initially going to run for only two years, but received an extension last year. A second casino that was going to participate, but it still hasn’t opened as its operators continue to secure investments.

Da Lat isn’t the only city interested in becoming a gambling host. Ho Chi Minh has forwarded its plans to the National Assembly, as well. It wants to allow casinos in all of its five-star hotels, not just one. The federal government hasn’t commented on when it might offer its response.

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