1. Current Success Stories
Boten: Is a casino located near the Chinese border. Chinese Investors opened the casino for Chinese tourists. Boten is designated a special economic district. Roads and airports and other infrastructure were built for the casino business. They run casinos by leasing zones. Korean interests used to rent and run the part of the casino business in 2007-2008, however they withdrew from the joint venture. It is known that some Koreans have offered programs to on sell hotel rooms, to receive royalties.
Dansavanh: Densavanh was the first place in Laos to obtain a casino concession. It is located 70km away from Vientiane and has resort styled accommodations. It was set with Malaysian Chinese capital. Sales have been down except it's inaugural opening. This is probably due to the distance from Vientiane. Facilities of the hotel and casino are very run-down. The main customers are Chinese, Thai and Korean. Lao are not permitted to enter the casino but can utilize the slot machines.
Savan casino: Is located in Savanakhet, in southern part of Laos.(http://www.tycoonresort.com) It was constructed with Malaysian Chinese capital and the main customers are Thai. After completion of the 2nd friendship bridge, the number of customers are increased. Between Mukdahan (a border city of Thailand) and Savanakhet, there is a shuttle bus service for enticing customers. The casino has been open since January, 2009. In February, the hotel opened. The owners are in the process of building a golf course. There was a new international flight route between Savanakhet and Bangkok around the same time of the opening of casino. There is a rumor that Korean interests obtained the casino concession and then on sold it to the Chinese.
Thaneulang: There is a slot machine gaming room located at Thaneulang, which is a border crossing to Thailand, in the Vientiane province. The main customers are Thai, for it is near the Thai border, and Chinese and Koreans who live in Vientiane. The first enterprise which received permission was SK, after that ST enterprises bought the rights. A Korean businessman leases the slot machines here and makes profits from them.
2. Historical Background to Casinos in Lao PDR
Dongmaideng Hotel : This casino, was opened by 2 Koreans, but was forced to close.
Lanxang Hotel : Korean interests had opened a casino here which was also forced to close. The same person who once opened the casino here, is the individual leasing the slot machines in the Thaneulang gaming room.
Besides these, Densavanh casino was opened at the Densavanh hotel in Vientiane, it also was forced to close. In fact, there is no official permission given in Vientiane and Luangphurabang to operate casinos.
3. Present Approval and Developed Regions
Sanyaburi: One of the associates of a highly connected individual in Laos has obtained a casino license and has placed it for sale. It costs around $500,000 excluding the price of land and development. The location is far from Vientiane (more than 10 hours drive) and there is no major provincial center nearby in Thailand, so it would be difficult to gain Thai customers.
Paksong: This is located 100 km away from Pakse, in the southern part of Laos. A Lao had obtained a license and it was in the process of developing it. Yet it has presently stopped it and is now for sale. The nearest Thai centre over the border is Ubon Rachathani additionally it is a one and half hour drive from Pakse, so it does not seem to be a viable proposition. There is a rumor that the casino license has been canceled.
Bokeo: A Chinese investor, who has a large stake in the showmongna casino in Myanmar, has obtained a license and is now in the process of developing the site. The location is near Thailand, Myanmar and Laos.
Phongsali : A Chinese investor has a license and originally planned it to open late 2009. The size of casino is not that big. The Nearest Chinese border city is Xuiring.
4. et cetera
Udomxai : The owner of the Densavanh casino built this hotel to house a casino, the license has not been approved.
There is a rumor that Houayxai has a license or it will be released
soon. A casino has been building now in Bokeo which is in the same region.