Gambling in Vietnam- what to expect

The Vietnamese people have been participating in gambling for centuries, but most gambling activities have always been barred by law. Traditional types of gambling such as betting on cockfights and other animal-based sports have always been a feature in cultures across Southeast Asia.

During the New Year or ‘Tet’ as referred to by the locals, some people play a dice game of chance known as Bau Cua Ca Cop. This game is customarily played in exchange for money among friends and family during the celebratory period. Nonetheless, the citizens of Vietnam had been banned from gambling for years, which made the issue even more complex than it already was.

Authorities open up casinos to locals

Until recently, foreigners were the only ones permitted to play at casinos. The situation had been the same since the Communist Party took over Vietnam in 1975. However, thanks to a pilot plan that saw Vietnamese locals get approval to gamble on sports, as well as dog and horse races in 2017, the gambling industry has undergone a revolution in the last 3 years.

Residents over 21 with a stable income (of over 10 million dongs, which is roughly $427) were given access to casinos during the pilot program’s 3-year trial phase. The paradigm shift occurred as a result of mounting debt; the authorities simply wanted to keep the gambling revenue at home and legalizing gambling, therefore, suddenly made sense.

Today, Vietnam is shaping up to be a great gambling destination of the future. And it is all thanks to gambling hotspots like Phu Quoc Island and the Ho Tram Strip. Today, there are over 10 casinos located all over from Lao Cai Province to the Quang Ninh Province, all of which are currently licensed for operation.

The demand for betting in Vietnam is at an all-time high. As such, if you are looking for a new gambling destination, there is no better place to head out to than Vietnam. But before you make your bookings, here is what to expect:

Gambling regulations for locals

The government of Vietnam perceives gambling as a social ill that causes decay in society. As such, gambling regulations are strictly enforced, which leaves no room for grey areas. For locals to gamble, they must be:

  • 21 and older
  • Able to prove that one can earn a salary of $427 or more each month
  • Must have a clean record
  • The gambler must have received consent from the immediate family, which means wife, husband, parents, children, etc. Once the immediate family makes complaints, the gambler is immediately denied entry.
  • Locals must be able to pay $44 for entry to a casino every 24 hours. Alternatively, one can apply for the monthly pass which goes for a fixed price of $1000.
  • Gamblers must dress in appropriate attire
  • Gamblers are not allowed to gamble while inebriated

Gambling regulations for foreigners

The regulations are a little more relaxed for foreigners than they are for locals. Foreigners from any part of the world with an international passport can gamble in Vietnamese casinos as long as they prove that they are over the age of 21. One should be dressed appropriately and must also not show up to the casino inebriated.

Upon arrival at the casino, foreign customers are required to provide financial evidence before any gambling can commence. This includes:

  • A certified copy of monthly payroll that confirms one’s monthly income
  • A certified copy of a bank statement or savings accounts for a year or more
  • A certified copy of one’s income tax return
  • Any other document that proves that the gambler earns a regular income of $427 or more

Licensed gambling clubs

There are over 20 licensed gambling clubs situated all over Vietnam that cater to electronic gaming. Although most of the games available in these licensed gambling clubs are also readily available in casinos, licensed clubs are only permitted to offer customers electronic or mechanical games that can be operated by the gambler and do not require the assistance of a live dealer.

Most of these clubs are situated in Ho Chi Minh City while the rest can be found in Hanoi, which is the capital city. Some smaller gaming clubs can also be found along the coast. The e-gaming clubs operate under 5-star hotels so you can expect exquisite service throughout. The best-rated gaming club is the Vegas Club, located at the Caravelle Saigon in Ho Chi Minh City.

According to Huber, chief editor at NJGamblingFun, ‘’ as Vietnam continues to make sweeping changes in its gambling industry, expect it to start shining as a destination. Soon, Macau’s reputation as THE Asian destination to go to could be under threat considering how booming Vietnamese casinos are slated to be.’’

Licensed casinos

More and more casinos hope to open their doors soon but there are only about 8 licensed casinos currently operating in the country. Baccarat, which is an Asian casino favorite, is featured heavily in almost all the casinos, but you should also expect to come across your favorite games such as blackjack, traditional and local table games, poker, and slots. 

The casinos also feature live dealers with perks such as free beverages, fine dining, and high-end accommodation. As it stands, the Grand Ho Tram casino located close to Vung Tau is the country’s largest casino, boasting 100,000 square feet of gambling space within the 5-star resort.


Horseracing in Vietnam dates back to 1893. Plans have been underway since 2018 to erect a new horse racing and entertainment complex in Hanoi, which is set to be completed in 2021. Until then, lovers of horse races can still gamble from the Saigon Racing Club.

Final Thoughts

The legalization of betting and gambling in Vietnam has been a long time coming. Not only has legalization helped to diversify the country’s sources of tax revenue, but it has also worked to attract investors in their hundreds to the industry. As a result, the burgeoning gambling economy now has all-new offerings to offer foreign and local gamblers.

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