VIETNAMESE MOVING TOWARD FOOTBALL SPORTS BETTING
16th August, 2013 at 04:47:05
Agreement in principle achieved by lawmakers
The Vietnamese newspaper Thanh Nien News reports that lawmakers in the Asian country agreed in principle Wednesday with a government proposal to legalise gambling on international soccer matches, saying the legal framework for this should be strengthened to curb negative activity.
Vietnamese citizens are currently allowed to gamble on local horse and greyhound races, but are barred from casinos that are only allowed to cater to foreigners.
The government's draft decree dealing with betting activities related to horse races, greyhound races and international soccer matches was discussed at the Wednesday meeting of the National Assembly Standing Committee.
The draft limits the maximum amount that can be bet to VND1 million a day and the minimum stake for each time is set at VND10,000.
Phung Quoc Hien, chairman of the parliament's Finance and Budget Commission, said while his agency, which was tasked with reviewing the draft, agreed with the government's rationale for the decree, the small amounts allowed will not attract gamblers.
Truong Thi Mai, chairwoman of the parliament's Social Affairs Committee, also said she found the range was not right, because it is not high enough to discourage low-income people and too low to attract those with high incomes.
Agreeing with Mai, Nguyen Van Hien, chairman of the Justice Committee, said VND10,000 is equal to the value of a bunch of water morning glory or a Vietnamese gourd. He recommended that the range be set at VND50,000 and five million.
If Vietnam wants to legalize sports betting and earn profit from that, then it needs to make it attractive, otherwise people like businessmen will continue to bet illegally online, Hien said.
According to the draft, people under 18, those with limited or no legal liability, and those who have illegally immigrated into Vietnam are not allowed to join the betting on soccer games.
It also regulates that businesses cannot allow people to bet if they receive letters from the gamblers' families, namely parents, spouses and children, asking them to do so.
A state-owned company will organise betting in international soccer matches with the minimum capital of VND500 billion. The Ministry of Finance will choose which matches and games are suitable for betting.
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