Ha Long casino operator mostly dependent on lodging income

The operator of The Royal Casino in Ha Long Town posted VND8 billion ($345,000) in Q3 post-tax profit, mostly from its lodging business.

This is the first quarterly profit that the company, Royal International, has made, even though all four quarters last year ended in the black, its third-quarter financial report shows.

However, the company’s casino business still suffers losses. January-September casino revenue at The Royal Casino, the largest in the northern Quang Ninh Province, was just VND60 billion ($2.6 million), or 36.8 percent of the total, with the rest coming from its hotel and villas.

As the casino business is seasonal, the revenue generated from it is unstable as it depends on the number of players and on luck, the company said.

Another reason is the increasing number of casinos in neighboring countries such as Cambodia, the Philippines, and Myanmar, scattering potential gamblers.

The company plans to find a partner this year to invest in a 33-story twin-tower hotel to increase revenues from lodging, as well as karaoke, massage and other services.

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In the first nine months of this year, Royal International’s revenue was VND163 billion ($7 million), less than half of the year’s target.

It suffered a loss of over VND70 billion ($3 million) after-tax, compared to a profit of VND18 billion ($776,000) in the same period last year.

The company’s still some distance away from achieving its target of VND38 billion ($1.64 million) in after-tax profit for the whole year.

Vietnam has seven casinos, six of which are open only to foreign passport holders

 The government still treats gambling as a social evil, although it has loosened its restrictions on it in recent years.

Last year the government approved a three-year trial project allowing Vietnamese residents to enter a casino on Phu Quoc Island on a pilot basis if they can meet certain conditions.

Vietnamese who want to gamble must be over 21 years, earn a minimum of VND10 million ($430) a month and have no criminal record or objections from family. The entry fee is VND1 million ($43) for 24 hours or VND25 million ($1,077) a month.

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