Hong Kong based retail jeweller Chow Tai Fook is to partner in a US$4 billion casino project in Vietnam.
Chow Tai Fook Enterprises, an affiliate of Chow Tai Fook Jewellery Group, the world’s largest jewellery retailer by market value, has already committed to investing in casino resorts in Brisbane, in the state of Queensland, Australia, and in South Korea.
Now it will partner with Vietnamese investment group VinaCapital and Suncity, a Macau-based casino tour operator.
Strict regulations in Vietnam prevent locals from gambling inside the country, however the government allows developments to serve tourists or those locals who hold a foreign passport. New casino licences will only be issued to developments with an investment value in excess of $4 billion, which deters minor players.
Other international gambling businesses, like Sheldon Adelson’s Sands Group have gone as far as creating plans for integrated resorts featuring casinos, but have stopped short of commencing construction until the government loosens restrictions on locals playing.
Reuters reports the new resort will be located in Quang Nam in the central part of Vietnam
The news agency said Chow Tai Fook’s involvement was confirmed by VinaCapital after the jeweller issued no comment beyond confirming “preliminary studies”.
Chow Tai Fook has reportedly replaced Malaysian casino operator Genting which withdrew from the project in 2012 due to the local gambling restrictions.
Reuters said the government was “mulling” a change in the legislation but has not released a policy as yet.