August 15, 2013

Vietnam discuss legal gambling proposals

The Vietnam’s National Assembly discussed options to legalise gambling in the country for its ninety million nationals this week. Currently it is illegal for Vietnamese to gamble even thou there are seven casinos serving overseas visitors.

What was interesting is the point of view from Assembly members to limit the amount wagered by nationals and the frequency of gambling.

The draft proposal by the Ministry of Finance will allow Vietnamese gamblers three kinds of money betting on horse racing, dog racing and sports betting.

But the most controversial is the amount they are allowed to gamble and the maximum frequency of betting on horse and dog racing cannot exceed three days a week at each racecourse. For football betting, the betting frequency depends on the timetable of the matches.

The minimum amount of betting money is set at 10,000 Vietnamese dong ($0.50 cents) per time and not exceed 1 million Vietnamese dong ($50) per day.

How this should be enforced has not been made clear at present, with an official from the Vietnam Football Federation (VFF) said there would be underground gambling still if they are regulated in this manner.

The gambling proposal also makes clear that people taking part in any gambling must be over 18 years old. The new proposals still make it illegal for any national to visit and gamble in the seven licensed casinos in the country, with a $10,000 fine in place for any violations.

However it is widely known that many Vietnamese visit and gamble in the casinos, with once casino manager quoted as saying that overseas players only make up one percent of their business.

Currently wealthy Vietnamese travel to neighbouring countries to gamble and play in casinos and the new proposal is aimed at stopping the flow of taxable dollars outside the country, however with the small maximums proposed it is unlikely this will prevent that from happening.

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