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Nightclubs Warned to Comply With the Rules or Face Closure

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Vientiane authorities are planning strict management of entertainment venues and beer shops in the capital to curb the harmful effects on society.

Director of the culture sector under the Vientiane Information, Culture and Tourism Department, Mr. Phonchanh Phengphouvanh, told Vientiane Times on Friday there were many entertainment venues in the capital including restaurants, nightclubs, karaoke bars and beer shops.

Under the regulations, these entertainment venues have to close at 11:30pm and should not be open to people under the age of 18.

Currently, many restaurants, nightclubs and karaoke bars are ignoring these rules by serving underage people and operating beyond closing times.

Authorities want to confront this issue as it is having a harmful impact on the general public, especially causing road accidents.

According to a report by the Traffic Police Department of the Ministry of Public Security, there were 3,173 road accidents around the country between November 2015 and April 2016, killing 585 people.

Most accidents were caused by drink driving and took place late at night or early in the morning. The Vientiane Information, Culture and Tourism Department is planning to inspect all entertainment venues in the capital to see if restaurants and bars are outing the regulations.

The first time a venue is found to be violating these rules, it will receive a warning document, the second time it will be fined two million kip, the third time it will be fined five million kip and subsequent violations will result in the business being closed down and fined 10 million kip.

So far, 67 venues in the capital have been targeted for inspection, including 20 karaoke bars and 10 nightclubs.

The authorities have also outlined regulations concerning offences such as playing excessively loud music, operating without permission, using unauthorised means of attracting customers and the use of entertainment venues for illegal activities such as prostitution and drug dealing.

Meanwhile, there are a large number of bars run by foreigners in the central and southern provinces, whose rights as operators remain unclear.

The department reminded business owners of major prohibitions, in particular, the closing time of 11:30pm. Businesses that violated this regulation would be denied permission to operate.

Statistics from 2014 showed that there were more than 1,200 restaurants, over 1,000 bars and 133 karaoke venues in the country.

Source: Vientiane Times