Vietnam to allow punters to bet on overseas football matches
New legislation has been introduced in Vietnam that will allow the country’s inhabitants to place bets on football matches overseas.
Vietnam’s National Assembly approved the law yesterday (Thursday) as football’s 2018 Fifa World Cup got underway in Russia. However, the new law is not expected to come into force until 2019.
With sports betting having been illegal in the country for decades, the shift by the authorities has been seen as an attempt to stop money flowing out of the country.
The Nikkei Asian Review reported that a single operator will be granted a five-year licence and will be able to offer wagers on the World Cup, as well as other sporting events, including the Asian Games and Southeast Asian Games, and matches that do not involve Vietnamese athletes. The licences will be issued by the country’s Ministry of Finance.
The report added that the illegal gambling market in Vietnam is estimated to be worth several billion dollars each year, with police in 2017 having uncovered illegal sports-betting operations worth more than $300m.
The Vietnam Football Federation has been one of the organisations lobbying for a more relaxed approach to sports betting in the country.
Related article: Vietnamese police make arrests in $39.5m illegal betting probe