4. Football betting set to become legal in Vietnam
Betting on football in Vietnam is still illegal but, even though there aren’t any statistics on football betting activities in the country, the average Vietnamese citizen would probably tell you that they hear about it every single day.
“Vietnamese people love football, and for many predicting the results of the matches is their hobby ,” says Nguyen Anh Phuong. Phuong was once in charge of reporting international football matches and he believes that with many football betting activities going on “underground”, Vietnam has suffered the consequences.
For example, during the World Cup in 2010, pawnshops all over Vietnam were flooded with valuable assets from mobile phones to luxury cars, flatscreen TVs and laptop computers. The reason; Vietnamese citizens were pawning their valuables in order to have football betting cash on websites like M88 vaoand, when they lost, their assets became the property of the pawnshops.
That’s one of the main reasons that Vietnam’s Ministry of Finance officials believe they should allow football betting to be legalized. In their opinion, it will prevent a number of social evils including bankruptcy. Under rules that are being considered, the minimum bet that the Vietnamese citizen would be able to place on a football match would be 10,000 dong, or $.50, and their maximum bet would be limited to 1 million dong, or $50, in a single day.
Of course another imported reason to legalize football betting in Vietnam is simply that government leaders want to stem the flow of Vietnamese money that is currently being spent to gamble on football on foreign websites. Indeed, many foreign banks want to set up businesses in Vietnam in order to exploit what they believed to be a very lucrative Vietnamese football betting market.
During the 2010 World Cup for example, it was estimated that between 50,000 and 70,000 visitors accessing foreign betting websites were from Vietnam. By prohibiting betting on football, the country is losing a huge sum of money slip through their fingers. While it’s true that they can’t collect on money that’s been spent on a foreign gambling website, the money that they’re now spending at home to take care of social problems caused by unlimited football betting is costing them a huge sum of money anyway.
A senior official from Vietnam’s Ministry of Finance, Nguyen Thanh Dam, says that the rules will be designed in a way that allows betting to occur only at a reasonable level. According to a draft of the decree, all football betting will be strictly controlled and only firms that meet specific conditions will be given licenses.