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Vietnam greenlights $4.2-bln casino-resort in south   2008-05-23 - AFP

Vietnam has given the go-ahead for a Canada-based casino and resort group to build a US$4.2-billion tourism complex in a southern beach area near Ho Chi Minh City, the government said Thursday.



Asian Coast Development (Canada) Ltd., or ACDL Group, has received the green light for the Ho Tram Strip project in the seaside province of Ba Ria-Vung Tau, located east of Vietnam’s southern hub.

The ground-breaking ceremony Saturday will be attended by former Canadian Prime Minister Jean Chretien, who is currently visiting the Southeast Asian country, said a report on the official government website.

ACDL Group says on its website that it plans to develop “a five-star coastal paradise consisting of casinos, five stunning resorts, and a gorgeous 200-acre golf course set on the white-sand beaches of Vung Tau Town.” The first phase of development would include two five-star hotels with 2,300 rooms and “Vietnam’s first Las Vegas-style casinos.”

The 160-hectare complex will also include a resort area, conference and exhibition center, a shopping mall, restaurants and entertainment facilities, said the Vietnam Chamber of Commerce and Industry in an online report.

Vietnam bans gambling for locals, but allows foreign tourists to engage in such betting activities.

Construction of the project is scheduled to start in the second half of 2008 and be completed by 2011, according to ACDL Group’s website.

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