The Lam Son Greyhound Racetrack in the southern beach town Vung Tau, the largest in Southeast Asia, will shut down when its latest license expires on March 10.
Sports and Entertainment Services JSC, which owns the $5 million dog track, announced the decision on Monday.
While the news has saddened many regulars at the colorful local stadium, the good news is that the track’s owners have said they are “speeding up” the construction of a new racetrack in the foothills of Lam Dong, a few provinces north of the current location which is home to resort town Da Lat.
Lam Son’s 400 greyhounds will continue to train at a new center in Ba Ria nearby until they begin racing again in Lam Dong.
The Lam Son greyhound racetrack has held two races per week since 2000. The 1,500 races in total attracted more than 3.5 visitors to the track. With affordable entry prices of VND90,000-180,000 (US$3.80-7.61) per person, the races were relatively affordable and accessible to people of diverse socio-economic backgrounds. The races often attracted motley crowds made up in equal parts of families and grizzled gambling addicts.
However, this has not been enough for Sports and Entertainment Services, which has announced losses of VND205 billion, in addition to the VND45 billion it claims it has had to pay in taxes.
A representative from the company said that if Lam Son were to renew its license, the company would have to pay value-added taxes and special consumption taxes for dog racing that cost at least VND100 billion per year. After 10 years, this amount would increase 30 times if the company obtains permission to receive bets remotely via ticket counters outside the racetrack and/or with text messages.
According to the Department of Culture and Sports of Ba Ria – Vung Tau Province, after the relocation of Lam Son greyhound racetrack, the old location will be used with for other sporting activities.
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