Sports Betting Legalization in Vietnam Underway, Industry Takes Advantage
The Vietnamese Government has begun drafting a decree that would effectively legalize sports betting on football and horse and dog races, in order to increase government revenues. Handled by the Finance Ministry, the legalization of sports betting in Vietnam is estimated to bring in more than US$2 billion each year. The ministry is currently seeking out opinions from other ministries before handing in the decree to government approval.
Sports betting in Vietnam has been illegal for quite some time in Vietnam, yet it is nevertheless very popular among Vietnamese, and they can be found betting on anything from cock fighting to soccer matches.
Following the recent announcement that the government is considering legalizing it, many sports betting companies have jumped at the opportunity to market their services to the country. A recent meeting in Hanoi saw both Vietnamese sports authorities and the UK sports betting operator ‘Ladbrokes’ cross paths to discuss the technical aspects of the legalization. According to Vietnamese newspapers, Ladbrokes made a presentation that left the authorities with a good impression.
Yet Huynh Vinh Ai, the Chairman of the Vietnamese National Committee of Sports and Physical Training, has said that despite the country’s strong interest to launch legalized sports betting, it still lacks a legal framework that could support such an industry.
Meanwhile, the Ministry of Finance has suggested assigning the operation and organization of sports betting to an entirely state-owned Vietnamese company. The government’s approval is expected to be given later in the year.