Vietnam’s Ministry of Planning and Investment (MPI) has recommended to Vietnamese Prime Minister Nguyễn Xuân Phúc that permission be granted for the development of a casino at the Laguna Lăng Cô beach resort.

Laguna Lang Co casino

The Laguna Lang Co resort could soon be home to Vietnam’s first casino that allows locals to gamble. (Image: Vietnam Investment Review)

According to a report in the Vietnam Investment Review, an unnamed investor is interested in opening a casino at the resort by 2021.

The plan would see the casino include 500 gaming machines and 50 table games, with the potential to grow to four times that size by 2029.

The total investment into the project would grow to $2 billion by the final stage of development.

Size of Development Could Open Casino to Locals

That figure is important for the prospects of any casino built in the country. Last year, the Vietnamese government determined that any new casino resort should include a minimum of $2 billion in expenditures if it wanted to take part in a three-year trial period, during which some local players will be allowed to gamble provided they are economically qualified to do so.

Along with the casino itself, the planned development includes more than 2,200 residential villas and apartments, as well as six five-star hotels. With these upgrades, Laguna Lang Co is expected to contribute $245 million to the Thua Thien-Hue provincial budget in 2021.

The MPI did note a couple areas in which the investor could improve their proposal. The ministry suggested that the investor improve its financial capacity, and that a plan should be in place to limit the potential negative impacts of the casino.

Hard Rock Could Be Unnamed Investor

While the investor that proposed this plan wasn’t named in the report, it is well known that several foreign investors have considered developing a casino venue on the resort complex.

Perhaps the most notable of these is Hard Rock International. Last July, the company confirmed its interest, with one executive telling GGRAsia that the firm was ready to start building as soon as they received approval from the government.

“We have finished all the site studies and completed all project financing,” Daniel Cheng, senior vice president for casino business development in Asia, told GGRAsia. “All we are waiting for is the national government to issue the casino license and we are ready to put spade on the ground immediately.”

The Laguna Lang Co Resort opened in 2013, and is located near Lang Co Bay on the north central coast of Vietnam. The initial amenities in the first phase of development included a 57-villa resort operated by Singapore developer Banyan Tree Holdings, as well as a 229-room Angsana resort, convention facilities, and an 18-hole championship golf course that was designed by Nick Faldo.

At the moment, Vietnam is home to eight licensed casinos. However, only foreigners are allowed to gamble at these facilities, meaning a casino at Lang Co could be the first gambling venue in the country to cater to local players.