Entertainment Venues Ordered to Stay 500-Meters Clear of Schools


Entertainment venues will soon be prohibited from conducting business within 500 meters of schools and educational institutions.

With the National University of Laos (NUoL) being used as a model, the Minister of Education and Sports, Ms Sengdeuan Lachanthaboun, informed parliament that certain measures are being made in an attempt to enforce the ban, with removal efforts being piloted proximate to the NUoL in Saythany district, Vientiane.

Ms Sengdeuan responded to questions raised by members of the National Assembly (NA) last week, during the ongoing 4th ordinary session of the NA’s 8th legislature in Vientiane.

Following the government’s decision to reinforce rules in maintaining an entertainment-venue-free 500-meter buffer around all educational institutes, lawmakers asked for progress on the enforced zoning restrictions nationwide,

Authorities aim to inspect all entertainment venues that are currently in violation of the regulations and relocating them at least 500 meters away from the university by December.

The meeting concluded that village authorities will survey entertainment venues including discothèques, bars, karaoke venues, snooker and games halls, massage salons, drinking or gambling venues situated within 500 meters of the university grounds.

Venues operating legally, especially those seeing considerable investments into facilities, will be required to stop selling alcohol and encouraged to convert such venues to more appropriate business models.

Those entertainment venues found operating unlawfully will be warned and ordered to shut down.  

Ms Sengdeuan said village authorities have been entrusted to educate and warn the venues’ operators to follow these measures, stating “We will hold a meeting to assess the implementation [of the measures] by this month.“

The move to relocate entertainment venues came after public complaints arose that such enterprises were being established too close to educational institutes, which may negatively influence students and encourage drinking.