Up to now all gambling has been illegal in Vietnam with the exception of the state run lottery. Vietnamese nationals are not allowed to gamble in the few hotels where casino gambling is on offer to holders of foreign passports.
In a bid to open up its casino gambling industry Vietnamese officials have been looking to the models of gambling now in place in Singapore and Malaysia which were among the first countries in Asia to follow Macau to legalise and regulate casino gambling. Recently the Vietnamese Prime Minister visited Singapore to discuss their gambling industry as a possible model for Vietnam.
Just as Vietnam is now seeking to do, Singapore wanted to have economic and tourism success like Macau. It granted licences to only two operators to build casino resorts on the island of Singapore in 2006, these were the Las Vegas Sands group and Genting. The government made a huge investment in order to attract tourists but at the same time was wary of a possible problem linked to gambling in its own population. This is also a concern for the Vietnamese government. The Singapore authorities got around this problem by charging people from Singapore very high entry charges to the casinos.
It is not yet known which model the Vietnamese government will follow but it is on the way to joining Macau, Singapore and Malaysia as a future casino gambling tourism destination.