Corona Resort & Casino, the only operational casino in Vietnam that allows nationals to gamble, has been given the go-ahead to resume operations after it was ordered to close temporarily two months ago.
The property, which is located on the Vietnamese island of Phu Quoc, was allowed to reopen after authorities in Kien Giang Province eased Covid-19-related restrictions. The province, which includes Phu Quoc, is now a green zone under Vietnam’s classification system for anti-pandemic measures.
Lam Minh Thanh, Chairman of the People’s Committee in Kien Giang Province, on Wednesday gave the nod to a range of businesses to resume operations, including casinos, hotels, restaurants, amusement parks, cable cars, and safaris, among others.
However, other non-essential operations such as beauty salons, theaters, massage parlors and spas, as well as indoor sports facilities and gyms have remained closed.
Corona Resort & Casino has been shut since July 19 as Vietnam was grappling with a new extreme surge in Covid-19 cases at the time. The closure of casinos and other non-essential businesses was among a series of measures undertaken by Phu Quoc and province officials to curb the spread of the disease.
The abrupt shutdown was ordered only a week after the island kicked off vaccination of its residents as it looked to open for foreign visitors by October. Province and island officials said this week that the island will not be able to carry out its tourism reopening plan and welcome fully vaccinated foreign tourists next month because the local vaccination rate is very low.
Corona Has Not Announced Reopening Date Yet
Although it has been given the green light to reopen, Corona Resort & Casino has not announced when it plans to resume operations.
The property is one of two casinos picked by the Vietnamese government to allow locals to gamble under a three-year pilot program. The other casino is currently under development in Van Don and is yet to be launched.
Corona Resort & Casino opened doors in 2019. Its launch coincided with the start of the government’s pilot program. Under the scheme, nationals are required to be able to provide a proof of monthly income of over VND10 million (approx. $433) for the three months prior a visit to the casino, be aged 21 or over, and to pay an entry fee of VND1 million for a 24-hour pass.
A few months ago, reports emerged that Vietnam’s Ministry of Finance has proposed extending the pilot program to 2024 due to the Covid-19 pandemic. The scheme was initially scheduled to end next year.
Source: Phu Quoc grants permission for Corona Resort & Casino to reopen, Inside Asian Gaming, September 23, 2021