Vietnam Lifts Football Betting Ban with Pilot Program
Punters in the Southeast Asian country of Vietnam are no doubt rejoicing over the news that betting on football games will soon be legal according to a new pilot program that is slated to begin March 31, 2017.
The ban on gambling has been a longstanding one that applies to all of Vietnam’s citizens. However, an exception is made for those Vietnamese citizens who also hold a foreign passport. 30 Casinos are currently in operation within the borders of Vietnam, which are open primarily to visiting foreigners.
The proposed program comes with a few caveats to keep bettors in check, namely a minimum gambling age of 21. In addition to the age restriction, all betting parlors to be erected under the new program will only be able to provide betting services on FIFA sanctioned and Vietnam Sports Ministry-recognized matches. Online betting will be prohibited under the new program and bookmakers are barred from opening their doors within 500 meters of a school or other venue catering to children.
Local media outlets have reported that strict requirements on capital reserves will be required for bookmakers as well, with a VND 300 million ($13,269,000) for greyhound racing and VND 1 trillion ($44,230,000) on horse facing and football matches.
Minimum and maximum bet values are imposed on punters as well in the form of a daily limit, with a required minimum bet of VND1,000 (US$0.04) that shall not exceed VND1 million (US$44).
The trial will be conducted following a bidding process, whereby the Vietnamese government will select a single bookmaker to run the pilot program for five years.
Softening Stance In The Face Of Competition
Vietnam has enacted an additional pilot program set to span three years that will allow Vietnamese citizens 21 years of age and older with monthly incomes in excess of 10 million dong (around $445) to gamble in specified casinos throughout the country.
For many years Vietnamese citizens have been able to cross the border into Cambodia and gamble at foreign gaming venues. With the new pilot program, Vietnam looks to secure some of that potential tax revenue from citizens gambling at home.
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