Charmvit receives investment certificate for the horse-racing track.

Chairman of Hanoi People's Committee Nguyen Duc Chung on October 14 granted the investment certificate for South Korea-based Charmvit Group to build a multi-functional entertainment complex - horse racing track, the first of its kind in Vietnam that offers horse betting, in Tan Minh and Phu Linh commune, Soc Son district.

Last December, Prime Minister Nguyen Xuan Phuc approved the US$420-million racetrack complex in Hanoi after agreeing to include the project into the capital city’s socio-economic development master plan until 2020, with a vision to 2030.

The project covers an area of 125 ha, including a horse racing track with a capacity of 30,000 audiences, a hotel, a convention centre and a villa complex.

At the meeting with Charmvit President Lee Daa Bong on the same day, Chung said the project once operational would create jobs and new services, in turn increasing city’s budget revenue.

The project is expected to complete construction in 2024 at the development cost of around $420 million. Chung requested Charmvit to soon proceed with the project.

However, Chung has asked Soc Son district authorities to speed up site clearance for the South Korean group so that the horse-racing track can be soon operational. The first race is scheduled to start in October 2020.

Charmvit’s President Lee expressed appreciated the support from the central government and Hanoi in for the project, saying the group would ensure the completion of the project as planned.

Horse-racing track is Charmvit’s third largest project in Vietnam. Currently, the Korean investor is operating the complex Grand Plaza Hotel in Hanoi with 586 rooms and Charmvit Tower office building in Hanoi, as well as the Phoenix golf course with 54 holes in Luong Son district, Hoa Binh province.

Hanoi expected to collect a corporate tax amount of US$40 million – US$50 million and special consumption tax of US$100 – 200 million per year once the racetrack complex becomes operational.

Once set in motion, the project would directly employ 5,000 people and other 20,000 – 25,000 part-time workers, generating a steady revenue flow for Hanoi budget.

(Illustrative photo)

The first horse-racing track project was proposed 20 years ago, which was expected to be built in Thanh Tri district. However, the foreign investors withdrew from it in 2005 due to the lack of a legal framework for gambling.

Another horse-racing track is being deployed by Phu Yen Horse Racing Company Limited in An My commune, Tuy An district, Phu Yen province. The project was approved in 2016 by People's Committee of Phu Yen province with a total investment cost of $100 million but it is still in site clearance process.

In June 2018, Vietnam’s National Assembly approved the revised Law on Physical Training and Sports, which allows locals to wager on a variety of sports events. The revised law came into effect in early 2019.

Sports betting was considered illegal in Vietnam, which made many local bettors turn to international gambling websites. The illegal betting market in Vietnam is estimated to worth US$1 - US$1.5 billion annually.

The law is seen as the government's effort to prevent money from flowing out of the country.

Mi Lan