The Ministry of Finance on June 2 issued Circular 57/2017/TT-BTC (“Circular 57”) amending and supplementing a number of articles of Circular 11/2014/TT-BTC providing guidelines on some articles of the Decree No. 86/2013/ND-CP on the business of electronic gaming machines for foreigners.

Question: What are key points on Circular 57 on electronic gaming machines for foreigners?

Answer: Circular 57 regulates the following regulations:

For business locations

Enterprises conducting the business of electronic gaming machines for foreigners (“Enterprises”) must arrange their games at a single business location licensed by the competent state agency. At this business location, Enterprises still have to install 24-hour electronic camera monitoring equipment to supervise the business location at basic positions (entry and exit doors, areas where game machines are located, cashier area and so forth) and all recordings must be saved for 30 days as a minimum, as required by current regulations.

For the quantity of game machines

According to this Circular, Enterprises have the right to make their own decisions on the number of game machines but such number must not exceed the maximum number stated in the Certificate of Satisfaction of Conditions for Business or the Investment Registration Certificate, and written permissions from the competent state agency (for enterprises licensed to conduct the business of electronic gaming machines before Decree 175/2016/ND-CP took effect).

Within 5 business days after the date on which the Enterprise commences its business operations in electronic gaming machines, they must report in writing to the Ministry of Finance, the Department of Finance, the Department of Culture, Sport and Tourism, and the local Tax Department on the quantity and type of machines, the forms of prized games, and the actual ratio of the electronic gaming machines in the business, for monitoring and managerial purposes.

Regarding the purchase of fiat currencies

According to Circular 57, the fiat currencies to be used instead of cash at the business location may be in the following forms: tokens; cards or slips; conversion points and other forms in place of cash as decided by the enterprise. Enterprises must open a register to manage their fiat currencies within at least 05 business days before bringing these currencies into business. Enterprises must also register the forms, standard models, quantity and types of fiat currencies with the local Department of Finance and the tax office directly managing the enterprise, for monitoring and administrative purposes.

Other regulations on the business of electronic gaming machines

In general, Circular 57 still retains regulations on the management of stand-by equipment of electronic game machines (must be 100% new equipment and not exceed 10% of the actual quantity of the machines in business), the destruction procedure for game machines and fiat currencies as well as the sequence and procedure for applying for, amending and reissuing the Certificate of Satisfaction of Conditions for Business, and so forth. Regulations on (i) the conditions of manufacturers, suppliers of game machines, independent inspection organizations of game machines, and (ii) technical conditions of game machines, are abolished by this Circular.

Also in accordance with Circular 57, Enterprises which have been granted Investment Registration Certificates or Enterprise Registration Certificates, which include business operations in electronic gaming machines, or given written permissions by the competent state agency to conduct the business of electronic gaming machines before the effective date of Decree 175/2016/ND-CP and which are conducting such businesses may continue conducting the business of electronic gaming machines already purchased in accordance with the laws from time to time, until the machines are replaced. The replacement of new machines must be carried out in compliance with law.

Circular 57 came into effect as from July 17, 2017./.