Hanoi revives $500 million horse racing, entertainment complex

By Vo Hai   November 16, 2018 | 10:43 pm PT
Hanoi revives $500 million horse racing, entertainment complex
Hanoi has approved the addition of a horse racecourse project to the outline of the city's master plan on socio-economic development to 2020. Photo by VnExpress/ Thanh Nguyen
A $500 million complex including horse racing in Soc Son District is off the shelf after 10 years.

Hanoi authorities have approved the addition of the long-delayed Soc Son multi-purpose entertainment complex and horse racecourse project to the city's master plan on socio-economic development to 2020 with orientation until 2030.

The total investment for this project is currently estimated at about $500 million. The project is expected to go into operation after 2021.

The planned site is mostly agricultural land. Once put into operation, the project will employ an estimated 5,000 direct laborers and 20,000-25,000 indirect laborers, generating a relatively large, regular revenue for the city' budget.

The project, which will be built in a planned tourist area about 40 kilometers north of Hanoi, will add a high-quality tourism product to Soc Son District in particular and the capital in general, the city stated.

According to Hanoi authorities' data, the capital has received over 26 million visitors this year, including 5.7 million foreign visitors, which are a 9 percent and 16 percent increase compared to last year respectively.

The project to build a horse racecourse in Hanoi was first researched in 1999, with the racecourse's proposed location in the southern districts of Hoang Mai and Thanh Tri.

However, as Vietnam's legal framework for sports betting and horse racing was incomplete at the time, the city's foreign partner eventually withdrew from the project.

The project was then revived in 2007 when the travel company Hanoi Tourist and South Korea's Global Consultant Network asked for the city's permission to research it, and was told by the government that it would be approved once the legal framework for sports betting is completed.

Vietnam's legislative body, the National Assembly, approved a bill legalizing sports betting last year and the government earlier this year promulgated a decree regulating the sports-betting business, throwing open opportunities for foreign investors to build racecourses in the country.

In addition to the racecourse in Hanoi, foreign firms are also said to be pursuing plans to build horse racecourses in the northern provinces of Bac Ninh, Vinh Phuc and in Ho Chi Minh City.

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