As soccer World Cup kicks off, Vietnam legalises sports betting

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While Thailand’s authorities are eagerly trying to curb any illegal betting during the World Cup 2018 and police are even busy to arrest more than 1,000 women for using their social media profiles to promote soccer betting, Vietnam goes the other way and uses the opportunity of the soccer event to legalise and regulate the industry.

Vietnam’s National Assembly on June 14 approved a new law that allows locals to bet on soccer matches and other sports events held overseas, the same day when the World Cup 2018 kicked off in Russia.

The law follows a pilot programme based on a January 2017 decree by the government allowing betting on some sports. Locals are already allowed to bet on soccer matches that are on a list announced by the sports authority. This includes the World Cup, Asian Games, Southeast Asian Games and matches without Vietnamese team participation.

The Vietnamese are known for their love of gambling. According to estimates by the Nikkei Asian Review, they spend at least $800 million a year on gambling overseas, mainly in Macau, Singapore and Hong Kong. Statistics show the Vietnamese spent $13 billion on the state lottery between 2011 and 2015, driving an average 12 per cent gain in the annual revenue of lottery companies over that period. Lottery companies are all state-owned enterprises and are not on the list of companies slated for privatisation.

However, sports betting was illegal for decades in the country, prompting many fans to place their wagers through international websites. The latest move to legalise betting is clearly meant to prevent money from flowing out of the country. The betting market in Vietnam is estimated to be worth billions of dollars each year.

In the past, Vietnam has been gradually relaxing gambling-related regulations for residents. In 2017, the government announced that it would allow locals to enter domestic casinos – until then open only to foreigners – which paved the way for casino investors to build new facilities. Plans call for the first citizens to be officially allowed to gamble in a casino on the resort island of Phu Quoc from mid-July.

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Reading Time: 2 minutes

While Thailand’s authorities are eagerly trying to curb any illegal betting during the World Cup 2018 and police are even busy to arrest more than 1,000 women for using their social media profiles to promote soccer betting, Vietnam goes the other way and uses the opportunity of the soccer event to legalise and regulate the industry.

Reading Time: 2 minutes

While Thailand’s authorities are eagerly trying to curb any illegal betting during the World Cup 2018 and police are even busy to arrest more than 1,000 women for using their social media profiles to promote soccer betting, Vietnam goes the other way and uses the opportunity of the soccer event to legalise and regulate the industry.

Vietnam’s National Assembly on June 14 approved a new law that allows locals to bet on soccer matches and other sports events held overseas, the same day when the World Cup 2018 kicked off in Russia.

The law follows a pilot programme based on a January 2017 decree by the government allowing betting on some sports. Locals are already allowed to bet on soccer matches that are on a list announced by the sports authority. This includes the World Cup, Asian Games, Southeast Asian Games and matches without Vietnamese team participation.

The Vietnamese are known for their love of gambling. According to estimates by the Nikkei Asian Review, they spend at least $800 million a year on gambling overseas, mainly in Macau, Singapore and Hong Kong. Statistics show the Vietnamese spent $13 billion on the state lottery between 2011 and 2015, driving an average 12 per cent gain in the annual revenue of lottery companies over that period. Lottery companies are all state-owned enterprises and are not on the list of companies slated for privatisation.

However, sports betting was illegal for decades in the country, prompting many fans to place their wagers through international websites. The latest move to legalise betting is clearly meant to prevent money from flowing out of the country. The betting market in Vietnam is estimated to be worth billions of dollars each year.

In the past, Vietnam has been gradually relaxing gambling-related regulations for residents. In 2017, the government announced that it would allow locals to enter domestic casinos – until then open only to foreigners – which paved the way for casino investors to build new facilities. Plans call for the first citizens to be officially allowed to gamble in a casino on the resort island of Phu Quoc from mid-July.

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