The Ministry of Finance is asking casinos in Vietnam to equip their venues with a working camera system for it to properly supervise their operations.
Casinos around the nation were urged by the Ministry of Finance (MoF) to place cameras at the entryway, gaming tables, cashiers, and containers holding cash and traditional money. They were also instructed to save the footage captured by the cameras for at least 180 days.
|Government agencies increase casino surveillance, illustration photo
The decision was made after routine inspections by the MoF revealed breaches at a few neighbourhood casinos, including letting ineligible players and fostering social unrest.
In a draft decree, the MoF said that it is proposing to amend and supplement a number of regulations on document management in the casino business, electronic games with prizes, and entertainment business with betting.
Accordingly, the MoF is the unit assigned to guide, manage and supervise the tax collection of casino business activities and prize-winning electronic games, but there are no regulations on documents related to these activities. In particular, Decree No.123/2020/ND-CP released in October 2020 on invoices and documents fails to stipulate principles for preparing documents to record transactions of casino business, electronic games with prizes, and entertainment business with betting.
Vietnam has nine casinos, three of which are large and located in Ho Tram of the southern province of Ba Ria-Vung Tau, Hoi An town in the central province of Quang Nam, and on Phu Quoc Island in the southern province of Kien Giang. Lao Cai, Danang, Haiphong, and Quang Ninh each have one tiny casino.
Only foreigners are permitted to gamble in Vietnam, while a very limited trial for locals began in 2019 at the Corona Casino in Phu Quoc. The MoF expressed support for extending the experiment for an additional two years at the end of 2022.
Professor Nguyen Mai, chairman of the Vietnam Association of Foreign-Invested Enterprises, said before opening up more casino projects, it is necessary to conduct impact assessments on land use, local impact, budgets, and capital because casinos are a conditional business and are strictly regulated by the law here
Earlier this year, the MoF proposed that the government extend a casino pilot programme until 2024, but so far there has not been any final decision made. The pilot allows Vietnamese nationals to play in casinos, which were previously the domain of foreign nationals only.
A casino project must have investments of at least $2 billion to be approved under DecreeNo.03/2017/ND-CP issued in January 2017 on casino business. In addition, the project must have at least 50 per cent of its total investment recorded in the investment registration certificate, or the investment decision must have been made before the certificate of eligibility for a casino operator may be issued.
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