Vietnam delays international football betting amid legal clarity concerns

Jenny Ortiz 2 weeks ago
Vietnam delays international football betting amid legal clarity concerns

Vietnam’s Minister of Finance Ho Duc Phoc emphasized the need for a comprehensive legal framework before the implementation of international football betting in the country, citing the imperative of regulatory clarity to safeguard against illicit activities within the sector.   

According to a local report, Phoc made the statement last month during a National Assembly where concerns were raised regarding various aspects of the gaming and betting industry, including lotteries, casinos, and electronic gaming businesses. The discussion shed light on the robust growth of state-owned lottery enterprises, with a notable 11 percent increase in revenue in 2023, totaling VND153 trillion (€5.7 million).    

Highlighting the importance of these revenues, Deputy Dieu Huynh Sang inquired about the allocation of lottery proceeds, particularly in vital sectors such as healthcare and education.   

Role of digital transformation   

Phoc underscored the significance of digital transformation in the lottery sector to foster sustainable growth, advocating for the expansion of sales via authorized agents to generate employment opportunities for vulnerable populations.   

Concerns on societal impact raised   

Turning to the topic of casino operations, Deputy Nguyen Duy Minh expressed concerns about their societal impact and contribution to local economic development, particularly in bolstering tourism. Phoc revealed that Vietnam currently houses nine casinos, contributing VND9 trillion (€337868) to the state budget from 2017 to 2023 and generating 10,000 jobs. However, only one casino, located in Phu Quoc, is open to Vietnamese citizens, with plans for one more casino in Van Don to follow suit.   

Issues on e-games and betting   

Addressing the issue of prize-winning electronic games and betting, Deputy Nguyen Thi Hue highlighted concerns regarding the prevalence of illegal gambling activities. Phoc clarified that while certain electronic games are restricted to foreigners and have stringent eligibility criteria for operators, betting services for football, horse racing, and dog racing are currently prohibited in Vietnam due to regulatory limitations.   

In particular, the absence of specific provisions within the existing legal framework has impeded the deployment of international football betting. Phoc emphasized the necessity of amending relevant laws to accommodate such activities and mitigate associated risks before considering their implementation.   

Commitment to a robust regulatory environment   

As Vietnam navigates the complexities of regulating its gaming and betting landscape, the finance minister reiterated the government’s commitment to fostering a robust regulatory environment that ensures transparency, integrity, and responsible gambling practices.  

Mandatory bidding process for football betting eyed  

In March, the Southeast Asian country said it was considering mandating a bidding process for the international football betting business project. The government decree, in line with the country’s Bidding Law, stipulates a formal bidding procedure to select investors interested in participating in this venture.  

This decree is not limited solely to international football betting but also includes projects related to horse and dog racing, which involve betting activities. In cases where there is interest from multiple investors, a bidding process will be mandatory. 

SiGMA Americas

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