Corona Casino, the Vietnamese casino with the unfortunate name, opened its doors again to welcome guests after months of lockdown. But the question remains: If you open it, will they come?
What’s in a Name?
The name of a brand speaks volumes, and choosing the right name for your product can make or break your company. Just ask Chevrolet why their Nova car didn’t sell in Spanish speaking countries; they’ll tell you. ‘No va’ means ‘no go’ in Spanish. Toyota learned quickly. All of their car names mean absolutely nothing in any language (Celica, Camry, etc.).
And it’s no different during the coronavirus epidemic. The popular Mexican beer Corona saw sales plummet just weeks after the coronavirus reared its ugly little head. And through no fault of its own (other than being consumed mainly by college girls), Corona beer sales bore the brunt of sad coincidence.
Casinos around the world shut down quickly in a domino effect after the coronavirus appeared. But the $2.1 billion Corona Casino in Vietnam just opened in January of 2019. Talk about bad timing. It was soon forced to close.
The word corona means ‘crown’, and the coronavirus is so named due to its crown-like spikes on its surface. But the regal name of the crown is also used for currencies (Swedish Kroner, Czech Koruna, etc.) and many name brands from cola to cerveza. But one nasty little virus came along and smeared the good name.
The Road to Recovery
The Corona Casino Resort on Phu Quoc Island in Vietnam is the only casino in Asia allowing locals to gamble. In fact, a 2017 law made all casinos available to locals only, in an effort to quash foreign investment by organized crime groups. Such casino investment ruined Cambodian casinos, as most of them were owned and operated by Chinese triad gangs.
But eventually the Corona Casino allowed locals and foreigners alike to gamble together freely. The casino even has strict regulations for locals who want to gamble. They must meet a minimum monthly income requirement and pay an entrance fee for each visit.
The reopening is not without restrictions, of course. Operating times are reduced to 12 hours per day, from 6 p.m. To 6 a.m. Good news for night owls.
In addition, the usual casino disinfection and sanitation rituals will take place, along with a limit of no more than 30 people at a time in any area of the casino. No entertainment will be scheduled until further notice, and everyone must wear masks.
The Corona Casino boasts 1,000 slots, 100 table games, a private beach, shopping mall, amusement park, golf course, and a 200,000-square-foot convention center.
But since travel is still widely restricted globally, visitors to Asian casinos will be sparse. Only time will tell if the locals can roll high enough to polish the tarnished crown.
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