New law could grant Vietnamese the right to gamble

Though current Vietnamese law limits casino access strictly to foreign passport holders, a controversial new draft decree is aiming to change that regulation. The proposed law would allow Vietnamese nationals aged 21 and up to gamble at local casinos, provided they meet certain background and financial criteria. In addition to easing restrictions on local gamblers, the draft decree also proposes more lax regulations for casino companies but aims to prohibit online gambling services altogether. Prime Minister Nguyen Tan Dung will have the final say on the matter, however several politicians have already spoken out both for and against the new legislation. Last year, several government officials gave their stamp of approval to a new casino in northern Quang Ninh province in which a select group of Vietnamese nationals would be permitted to gamble, however others are concerned that the move could result in more problems for the country. “We already have too many social evils,” said Nguyen Mai, former deputy minister of Planning and Investment, “We should avoid this plan at all costs.”