Vietnamese are known for their love of gambling. It is estimated that they spend at least $800 million a year betting overseas, mainly in Macau, Singapore and Hong Kong. The government has legalized sports betting only since 2017 but has yet to license a bookmaking business. Only people over the age 21 with an income of at least VND 10 million ($445) can gamble at designated casinos.
On July 15th 2020, a total of 13 people were successfully busted by the Da Nang police operating an illegal online football gambling ring. According to the information by the local authorities, the ringleader was identified as Tran Viet Nghia, a 34 year old of Trung Nu Vuong Street in Da Nang. The crimes committed by them is worth $32 million, equivalent to VND 700 billion. The police seized over 4,000 documents in relation to football gambling, three cars and VND 2 billion in cash.
Only a few companies have shown interest in operating an online betting business in Vietnam, and none of them have actually submitted bidding documents. Limited betting options and high conditions are some of the factors for the licensing of bookmakers. Vietnam only allows betting on international soccer games recognised by the governing body FIFA and approved by the sports ministry. The World cup, Copa America, Confederation Cup, Champions League and Europa League are all short tournaments while the more popular football leagues amongst the people are English Premier League, La Liga , German Bundesliga, Serie A and Ligue 1, are left out of the betting pool.
A few weeks ago, 20 people were arrested in northern Hung Yen Province, an online gambling ring worth VND 20 trillion. The authorities seized several mobile phones, VND 2 billion in cash and froze over 100 accounts involved in the case. Gambling remains illegal in Vietnam outside its handful of casinos, and even Vietnamese need to meet certain financial and other criteria to be allowed to partake. Gambling and organising related gaming activities carry fines of VND10-50 million and jail terms of three to seven years. For more updates on gambling and gaming around the world, keep reading GutshotMagazine.com and stay tuned!