Investors both foreign and Vietnamese are running a race for licenses to open horse race courses.
Thien Ma – Mandagui JSC has invested VND1.002 trillion to build a horse race course covering an area of 70 hectares in Lam Dong province. The project is scheduled to become operational by 2018.
The moves by investors are believed to be taken in anticipation of the government’s issuance of a decree on betting related to horse race, dog race and international football.
Choi Hank Soo, president of the Republic of Korea’s Horse Race Group, last October paid a working visit to Bac Ninh province to seek investment opportunities there.
Sources said the Korean investor plans a horse race course and a general entertainment area in Thuan Thanh district with capital of US$500 million in the first phase of development.
Several other investors have been moving ahead quietly to implement their projects. Matrix Holdings Ltd is considering setting up a horse race in the central city of Danang.
In mid-2016, Vietnam-Australia Sports proposed to Ba Ria – Vung Tau provincial authorities an international horse race project covering an area of 150 hectares, capitalized at US$158 million.
In Binh Phuoc province, an Australia Investment Group has received the local authorities’ nod on a US$100 million horse race in the locality.
The Phu Yen provincial authorities have granted an investment license to the Phu Yen Horse Race Course investor – Golden Turf Club Pty Ltd.
First proposed in 2005, a US$570 million horse race course in Vinh Phuc province was thought to have been shelved but the investor has unexpectedly restarted the project with 3 times more capital than before. The complex is hoped to bring revenue of US$972 million a year.
Vietnamese state management agencies are cautious in licensing race course projects as they are considered sensitive because of betting (gambling).