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Hong Kong group proposes Can Tho horse racetrack

Released at: 15:43, 07/07/2017

Hong Kong group proposes Can Tho horse racetrack

Photo: Viet Tuan (VET)

SIBC International hoping to invest in $500-million track in Mekong Delta city.

by Hong Nhung

The Hong Kong-based SIBC International Limited has proposed to the Can Tho City People’s Committee that it develop a racecourse, entertainment and tourism complex in the Mekong Delta city, Mr. Nguyen Van Hong, Director of the city’s Department of Planning and Investment, told VET.

The group and other consultants met with city leaders on July 4 to introduce the project, where they discussed plans to build an entertainment complex that would cover over 150 ha in Binh Thuy district. Including the racetrack, a hotel, a park and a golf course, the cost is estimated at $500 million.

Once completed, the racetrack would be open every Friday, Saturday and Sunday and could host up to 16 races a day and earn around $2.2 billion a year, the company said, adding that it would contribute $440 million in taxes each year and create around 20,000 jobs.

Chairman of the People’s Committee Vo Thanh Thong said the racecourse would help boost local tourism, but given its large scale the city would have to consult with the central government before making a final decision.

He asked the investor to study the project’s feasibility over a three-month period and report back on October 4 at the latest. If feasible, the city will instruct the investor to complete all necessary procedures before kicking off construction.

Can Tho attracted more than 5.3 million tourists in 2016, up 14 per cent year-on-year and including 22,600 foreigners, with revenue at more than $79 million.

Vietnam legalized sports betting earlier this year, allowing its citizens to bet on international football games and horse and greyhound races from end-March. The historic decision, made after years of deliberation, has made racecourses a viable investment option.

The country currently has one greyhound track in the southern beach town of Vung Tau and a $100 million horse racetrack in the southern province of Binh Duong that opened two months ago. Hanoi also has plans to build a $500 million racecourse, but progress has been delayed.

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