Friday, June 15, 2018

National Assembly of Vietnam Approves New Sports Betting Legislation

Casino News Daily
National Assembly of Vietnam Approves New Sports Betting Legislation

Yesterday, the National Assembly of Vietnam thumbed up a new piece of legislation which would allow local citizens to wager on football matches held overseas. The Assembly’s decision coincided with the official start of the World Cup 2018 held in Russia.

The new law, however, is set to come into effect in 2019.

So far, sports betting has been illegal for decades in the country, which pushed many local citizens to turn to international gambling websites. Now, the decision to finally make sports betting and football matches, respectively, legal has been considered part of Vietnam’s efforts to keep the money flow in the country. Vietnam’s illegal gambling market is worth billions of dollars on an annual basis, which basically means that the country has been losing a lot of money which could otherwise bring a certain contribution to its economy.

Gambling industry experts have projected that local sports betting companies will enter a bidding process for an operating license as soon as the National Assembly greenlights the proposed measure. The Ministry of Finance will be the body in charge of issuing an operating license, while Vietnamese currency will be the only one accepted for sports betting operations. According to estimates, sports betting could turn out to be a good revenue source for the country’s budget.

Recently, the country’s budget has been suffering from a revenue deficit. This is one of the main reasons why the Vietnamese Government has been increasingly interested in looking for sources to fill in the gap in its 2018 budget.

More Relaxed Gambling Regulation Unveiled

In April 2018, the Vietnamese residents were given the chance to bet on football matches which are included on the sports authority list, such as the World Cup, Southeast Asian Games, and Asian Games. In addition, matches which do not involve the participation of the country’s national football team were also included in the list. The permission is based on a Government’s decree issued in January 2017, under which betting on some sports was made legal on the territory of the country.

Despite the changes brought to football betting in the country in April this year, The Nikkei Asian Review reported that there are no legal football betting website or agent available in Vietnam, except for some horse-racing agents. According to media reports, sports betting operators are set to be put under close monitoring and control of the competent authorities. In addition, Vietnam has been considering to award an overseas operator with a license allowing it to enter the legal sports betting business in case that the company manages to meet the country’s requirements.

Apart from the steps made by the company towards liberalization of the sports betting market, Vietnamese authorities have been gradually relaxing the gambling regulatory rules for local citizens, too. Last year, the country’s Government revealed that it would permit local people to enter Vietnam-located casinos. According to original plans, people will be officially allowed to first gamble in a casino in Phy Quoc in the middle of July, following the roll-out of a three-year pilot program.

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