Casino Gambling Should Be Available in Viet Nam The development of casinos in Viet Nam can be feasible with the current socio-economic situation in Viet Nam. In recent days, Las Vegas Sands has a new project for the development of hi-end resort complexes in Viet Nam, one in Ho Chi Minh City and the other in Ha Noi, which would cost up to 6 billion dollars.
Even though people believe the project would bring the possible social risks, Viet Nam could benefit from it in the following ways: first, it could boost tourism revenue to compete with other regional countries; second, the state budget will be remarkably increased from gambling revenue and taxes; third, it can create many jobs nationwide, in Ha Noi and Ho Chi Minh City in particular The complexes would consist of spa centers, exhibition centers, hotels, conference centers, restaurants, shopping malls, sports centers, theaters, museums, cinemas, and other amusement services including casinos.
These hi-end resort complexes in Vietnam would be the biggest investment project from Las Vegas Sands, one of the prominent gambling U. S. groups so far, if it is licensed. The large investment plan meets with a lot of difficulties and debates from officials, scientists, and people who are worrying about the possible social impacts of the casinos on young generation. Meanwhile, George Tanasijevich, the Global Development Managing Director of Las Vegas Sands, said in an interview with VietNamNet Bridge that: “Las Vegas Sands well understands a bunch of heading obstacles which it will have to face up to in case of investing in the project. Also according to Mr. George, “Las Vegas Sands really wants to invest in Vietnam. We are still waiting. We are ready to answer all the questions to be raised by the government of Vietnam upon the plan, the way of doing business and about the complex tourism industry,” (qtd. in VietNamNet Bridge). The first foreseeable certain socio-economic benefit that the project would bring is to attract plenty of foreign tourists from across the globe; this is a big chance to launch a more positive Viet Nam tourism image throughout the world.
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A lot of countries, like Singapore, Hong Kong, Cambodia, and Malaysia in Asia, have been successfully trying to create new attractive features to attract foreign travelers. Viet Nam already has diverse luxury hotels ranging from one star to five stars from the North to the South. Moreover, Viet Nam offers international standard services that make foreign tourists feel comfortable and pleased with their spending.
For example, the current luxury hotel systems in Ha Noi and Ho Chi Minh City can offer free breakfast, snacks, friendly services, and wireless internet connection for those who have been using hotel services to appeal to more and more foreign tourists throughout the world to visit Viet Nam; this would help them feel more at home. Gambling and tourism in combination definitely would become one of the biggest services, which could draw a remarkable number of tourists from around the world if the project is available.
Besides, there is also a variety of tourist spots and spectacular landscapes stretching across the country to make tourists have an interest in visiting and discovering something new. Obviously, the more visitors who come to enjoy the gambling here, the more revenue the localities where the casinos are located will generate. Specifically, in recent years, many casinos in the U. S. and Australia have been expanded for the explicit purpose of encouraging tourism development.
One of these is to bring in a greater number of outsiders and additional wealth into the local economy where the casinos are located. For instance, the major casinos of the Gold Coast of Australia have been successful in attracting premium players from South East Asia. The ability to use a casino as a major stimulus for tourism development is dependent on a range of characteristics and considerations including location, type of development, and the legal and competitive environment.
All of these add up to a big boost in the local economy. Another benefit from gambling casinos is that the government can collect a considerable amount of revenue from taxes. Recognizably, revenue tax is the main source of income to cover all the operations of the government as well as local authorities. In addition, the local authorities and the government have to be responsible for maximizing the collection of taxes from the casinos’ business.
Viet Nam needs to build a legal framework for gambling businesses, not only for attracting an enormous amount of foreign currency, but also for keeping the so called “foreign currency bleeding”, because most foreigners bring their currency with themselves to neighbor nations, such as Singapore, Cambodia, Malaysia, or Macau when gambling at the casinos. In this case, Viet Nam must learn from Macau’s gambling tax policy in which taxes are not changed unexpectedly and can bring it billions of dollars each year.
Wynn Resorts CEO Steve Wynn once told Gambling in Macau that he preferred the government in Macau to the one in Washington regarding Macau’s economy: “Macau has been steady. The shocking, unexpected government is the one in Washington. That’s where we get surprises every day. That’s where taxes are changed every five minutes. That’s where you don’t know what to expect tomorrow. Macau is stable, but Washington is not! ” (qtd. in Macau Gambler Online). According to Macau Gambler Online, “First-quarter gaming revenues produced by Macau's casino market is more than $9. billion, up 27 percent over 2011, a year in which the Chinese gaming enclave's 34 gambling halls had a 12-month total of $33. 5 billion. ” (qtd. in Macau Gambler Online). Meanwhile, Macau's Gaming Inspection and Coordination Bureau said in the press conference that “incredible revenues from gaming reached $3. 12 billion during March, a 24-percent increase compared with the same period of last year. ” (qtd. in Macau Gambler Online). As for amazing revenues and gambling tax policy, the government has collected a great amount of tax from the casinos’ business.
Another noteworthy example of gambling tax policy is from Singapore, one of the more stunning tourism destinations in Southeast Asia for travelers from throughout the world. Unlike Macau’s gambling tax policy of 39-percent rate, Singapore simply offers the amazingly gaming tax rate of 15 percent, but it taxes five more-percent rates on the so called “premium” play from high-rollers and players brought in by junkets. The close combination of two rates not only brings Singapore a large amount of money, but appeals to a huge number of foreign visitors from all over the world traveling to Singapore for vacations.
In general, revenue taxes from casinos are a huge amount which can bring Viet Nam prosperity and its people a comfortable life. They will bring huge wealth into cities to provide much needed services to the communities to which they belong. Last but not least, the presence of casinos in Viet Nam will be a big chance to create more jobs for adolescents. Currently, the world economic situation is still facing plenty of difficulties in 2012; therefore, Viet Nam’s unemployment rate is forecast to be rising because of the negative impacts of the world economy on its economy.
In this situation, the solution for the reduction of the unemployment rate which is the attraction of foreign direct investment is extremely significant. As for this, the total investment capital of up to 6 billion dollars from Las Vegas Sands to build two resort complexes including casinos is a golden opportunity for Viet Nam, not only to improve the country’s economy, but to bring thousands of jobs to those who are still unemployed. Understandably, a huge amount of the work force will be employed for construction of the complexes.
Specifically, in an exclusive interview with Vietnamnet Bridge, Sheldon Adelson, Las Vegas Sands chairman, recently estimated taking at least six months to a year to plan, then two more years for construction. The project including a variety of constructions, such as hotels, restaurants, amusement areas, fitness clubs, dancing clubs, casinos, and roads will temporarily reduce the government’s burden over dealing with the unemployment situation. A remarkable number of laborers will be employed to work in two resort complexes after two and a half years of completing the project.
As an illustration, students who qualify employment requirements definitely have more chance to work in the resort complexes as an accountant, sales man, or supervisor after graduation from colleges or universities. Besides, others who are unable to qualify for academic standards can find other chances to work in the fields that require a lower-standard, such as body guards, drivers, waiters, waitresses, casino staffs. Though these jobs do not require much more skills than academic jobs, they can bring employees an impressive income.
For this reason, the government generally does not have to spend its budget on solving long-term unemployment issues. Though the casino industry can bring lots of benefits to the country, it may lead to the boom of individual bankruptcy, create social evils, and increase crime rates as well. As for a developing country, like Viet Nam, gambling could be an easy and effective way to become rich for those who take advantage of loosened law and corruption. Hence, the total income of casino business may not go to the state budget as a business income tax.
Truly, over the developed countries with strict law enforcement like Singapore, crimes can easily get involved in casino business. “Though recognizing the recognition of casino business to the Singaporean economy, I still feel worried about the possible social impacts of the casinos,” said Grace Fu, a minister of the country (qtd. in Singapore Casinos). Also, according to Samaritans of Singapore, a non-government organization in Singapore, the gambling business and the lending at exorbitant high interest rates have been constantly developing are advantage conditions for increasing crimes.
The incredible profit from casino business is always directly proportional with an increase of social evils. More importantly, in order to develop casino business steadily and sustainably, the government needs to take some negative impacts and long-term consequences into consideration. The negative impacts and long-term consequences can be easily anticipated that the young generation may drop out of school early, be pathologically addicted to drugs, and commit murder or robbery. Who will be responsible for the social evils arising from the next ten-year operation of casinos though it is on the right track?
According to the Florida Times Union, statistics show crime rates will raise day-to-day. Over the countries which have casino business, the rate is probably higher than non-casino business country. “The statistics are sobering. In communities that permit Class III casino gambling, such as Las Vegas-style slot machines, blackjack card games and even roulette or craps, the crime rate is nearly twice the national average,” said Bill Mccollum, an attorney general, in his research (qtd. n The Florida Times Union). Additionally, statistics showed that illegal gambling was significantly more prevalent in states that have been opening the door to legalized gambling. His recent study found more than two-thirds of compulsive gamblers had engaged in criminal activity, including violent crimes, because of a gambling problem. Above all, they are practical statistics for the Viet Nam government to carefully refer before giving out a right and proper decisions and policies as well.
In fact, casino business is a form of maximizing profits from the development of resort complexes which bring Viet Nam a lot of benefits in which tourism development, the state budget increase, and employment issue are essentially focal points to develop country economy. In order to attain those achievements, the government should be paying close attention to its negative impacts over a long-term period to launch a timely decision or solution aiming to minimize or stop its risks immediately.
Apparently, casino gambling is the form of business in which increased revenues from taxes can be obtained from casinos. That amount can be used to improve communities, and local services, and infrastructure. The benefits of the project which can be easily collected are that more and more hotels, restaurants, transportation hubs, surrounding roads, and areas will be built and expanded to accommodate more structures. Thanks to these, the high unemployment rate can be considerably lower and lower.
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