28 October 2016
Slot machine operators in Vietnam will benefit from rising tourist numbers and an expanding expatriate population in the country.
Slot machine operators in Vietnam will benefit from rising tourist numbers and an expanding expatriate population in the country.

Why gaming industry in Vietnam is a good bet

Running slot machines for Macau casinos used to be a great business in the past. But the situation is different now following a slowdown in the gaming industry and China’s policy changes.

With easy money no longer on the table, slot machine operators are forced to seek out alternative markets.

Against this backdrop, Vietnam is increasingly coming into focus for firms such as Success Dragon International Holdings (1182.HK).

It is easy to see why the Southeast Asian country is considered to be a greener pasture for entertainment-related companies. 

Vietnam’s economy is booming and its people’s incomes are growing. An expanding population also offers the right environment for gaming businesses to flourish, says Success Dragon’s CEO Carlos Salas.

Salas believes that Vietnam’s story has just begun and there are tremendous opportunities to be had in the fast-growing emerging economy.

In Vietnam, five-star hotels can apply for slot machine license to generate extra income, but they may not know how to run the business. This is where companies like Success Dragon come into the picture.

Vietnam has seen a rise a tourist numbers, boosting the prospects of many businesses. Meanwhile, an influx of foreign direct investments has also led to a surge in expatriate population in the country.

“The outsourced electronic gaming machine management business is a key focus for us and Vietnam is an important destination for our international expansion,” says Salas.

Taking advantage of the growing betting habits of locals, Success Dragon has also expanded into greyhound racing in Vietnam.

Culture and availability are two key factors determining how active the gaming business is in a country.

“Vietnamese would bet on anything, even the weather. For instance, cock fighting is not allowed but matches are video streamed from elsewhere and people bet on them,” Salas said.

The beauty of the racing operator business in Vietnam is that it is virtually risk free.

“The operator gets a 10 percent cut of the pool — the total amount gamblers put down. It is predetermined. Gamblers are not betting against the house, you cannot lose money,” Salas explains.

Success Dragon has recently signed a deal with Sports and Entertainment Services Joint Stock Company, a foreign-invested enterprise in Vietnam, to manage part of the latter’s racing business, including organizing greyhound races, marketing and operating racing systems.

Salas expects Vietnam to become his firm’s major market and key source of income in the coming years.

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EJ Insight writer

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