~ Le ViÍt Nam, aujourd'hui. ~
The Vietnam News

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Vietnam approves Hanoi horse racing track

HANOI - Communist-ruled Vietnam has approved Hanoi's first horse racing track, an official said on Monday.
The $57 million project is scheduled to begin operations in about three years with horses bred in France, said the official from the local partner, state-owned Hanoi Sport Production, Service and Tourism Company.

``The licence was delayed for a while because the government needed to consider giving permission for a betting service,'' he said.
``It's obvious that without betting it's hard for the joint venture to be profitable.''
Gambling in Vietnam, which is classified as a social evil, is mostly illegal. Aside from state-run lotteries, the only legal gambling is at a run-down horse track in Ho Chi Minh City, a relic from Vietnam War days.

The main investor in the 50-year Hanoi project -- which envisages a state of the art stadium and network of bookies offering live result services on race days -- is France's Trotting Promotion S.A., which will hold a 70 percent share.

Construction is planned to begin in mid-2000, the official, who declined to be identified, said.
A regular bulletin will be published to brief local people on the background of each horse, he added.

Reuters - February 01, 1999.