Casino finds itself in royal mess at Vietnam’s top resort town

By Minh Son   October 24, 2017 | 07:57 pm PT
The owners have reported multi-million dollar losses, blaming a drop in Chinese gamblers visiting Ha Long Bay.

The company running the only casino in Vietnam’s famous Ha Long Bay appears to have been dealt a bad hand.

The Royal International Corporation said in a new financial report that its losses in the third quarter had jumped 23 times from a year ago to more than VND69 billion ($3.04 million).

That added to a VND100 billion ($4.4 million) loss in the first nine months, a fourfold increase from 2016, the company said.

Most of the losses were incurred by its casino operation, but its villa business also played a small part, it said.

The casino was opened in 2003 but the business has bled red ink since 2013. The company reported a VND154 billion loss in 2014.

Managers said most gamblers come from Taiwan and mainland China, but fewer have been showing up of late.

Vietnam has six casinos that open exclusively to foreigners, and four of them are reporting losses.

Earlier this year the government lifted a long-time ban on Vietnamese nationals to allow them to gamble in two casinos - one on the southern resort island of Phu Quoc and the other at the Van Don Special Economic Zone in the northern province of Quang Ninh Province, close to the loss-making Ha Long casino.

Both casinos are under construction.

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