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, it wants to change that and might seek federal approval for a gaming property.
Tourists 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 has just issued a plan to implement a pilot model of night economic development in the area with many new and unique types of sightseeing, shopping and entertainment. Notably, the new plan mentions that Da Lat will have nightlife entertainment, such as bars, dining, cinemas, gambling and more.
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 night 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 for the night economy model to develop the night economy. However, he added that it’s equally as important to limit the risks and negative impacts of the night 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, as well as build a new night market with a more modern, aesthetic form. That will include a major economic complex with all kinds of activity, 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 nine casinos now operational cater to foreigners only. 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. There was 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 already forwarded its plans to the National Assembly, as well. However, 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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