Revised law officially legalises sports betting

Vietnam has officially legalised sports betting, with bookies set to open after the amended Law on Physical Training and Sports takes effect on January 1, 2019.

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Sports betting was legalised in the revised Law on Physical Training and Sports, which was approved at the fifth session of the 14th National Assembly last June
Under Article 67a of the law, approved at the fifth session of the 14th National Assembly last June, sports betting is a form of entertainment with rewards in which participants predict the result of sporting events.

The law regulates that sports gambling is a conditional business activity under the strict control of authorised State agencies. Sports gambling companies are permitted to operate only after agencies certify them.

Betting business activities must be conducted in a transparent, objective and honest manner and ensure the interests of involved parties. The Vietnamese dong is the currency used for sports betting.

The Government will decide the list of sports activities on which betting is allowed and provide more detailed regulations on the business.

The inclusion of sports betting in the law amending some articles of the Law on Physical Training and Sports attracted much interest of legislators. They said it is necessary to meet the real demand in society, increase budget revenue and mobilise a big source of funding.

In fact, sports betting was already permitted but restricted to sports like horse racing, dog racing and international football.

Phan Thai Binh, a National Assembly deputy of Quang Nam province, said if sports betting is not regulated in law, it will still exist, making it even harder to be managed and leading to budget losses. 

Echoing this, deputy Duong Tan Quan of Ba Ria-Vung Tau province said horse and dog racing is already held in Ba Ria-Vung Tau and Binh Duong provinces, but the issue was just stipulated in a Government decree, so it needed to be mentioned in law too.

The supplementation of regulations on sports betting aim to meet demand while enhancing authorised state agencies’ management, reducing its negative influence on society and creating a source of budget revenue, he added.

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