$500 million racing venue planned for Vietnam’s Can Tho

Thomas Hobson

A HONG KONG-based company has been given the all clear to conduct a study into the feasibility behind building a racecourse in Vietnam’s southern city of Can Tho.

SIBC International Ltd. met with the city’s leaders on Wednesday to discuss plans to build an entertainment complex that would cover over 150 hectares. The proposed project could cost over $500 million and would feature a hotel and a golf course amongst its amenities.

Once completed, the track could host up to 16 races a day and earn VND50 trillion ($2.2 billion) a year, the company said, adding that it would contribute VND10 trillion in tax each year and create around 20,000 jobs.

Can Tho officials said the racecourse would help boost local tourism, but given its scale, the city would have to consult the central government before making a final decision.


The decision to press forward and explore the potential for a racetrack in Vietnam came about after the historic decision to legalise sports betting earlier this year.

The decision, which was green lit on March 3, has made the potential for a racetrack a viable investment option.

The country currently has one greyhound track in the southern beach town of Vung Tau, and a $100 million horse-racing course was opened in the southern province of Binh Duong two months ago.

What are the Australian implications of a possible Vietnam racing track?

There are a plethora of factors that can be extremely positive for Australian racing on the table if a world-class thoroughbred facility is built in Can Tho.

First and foremost, it is another avenue in which connections, both owners, trainers and the horses themselves, can ply their trade. We have seen the rise of racing in Hong Kong over the last two decades exponentially boost the profile of Australian breeders and as a by-product, enhance the quality of the thoroughbred industry down under.

There is no reason to think a similar situation would not arise from a thriving Vietnamese market.

Secondly, from an Australian gambling standpoint – this opens up a new market for punters to wager upon.

The proliferation of punting has seen television stations pick up thoroughbred racing from Japan, the UK, France, Hong Kong and even Germany.

A new venue for punters to bet on will help boost the already-thriving racing market in this country and our funds will help grow the sport of racing in Vietnam.

If this is done well, Australia and Vietnam can both benefit greatly from this. Australia will have another part of the world for their gallopers to dominate, while Vietnam gets their burgeoning industry off the ground in the best way possible.

Let’s just hope they have wise heads in charge.

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