Sports betting is to be legalised in the new Law on Sports and Physical Exercise, setting an agenda for the government to allow for more forms of entertainment in the country. Phuong Thu talked to leaders of betting firms and gaming operators about their opinions on the new regulatory move and how the new law would help Vietnam attract more foreign direct investment capital in the currently-restricted investment business in the country.
|Commentators have mostly reacted positively to the proposed legalisation of sports betting, Photo: Le Toan |
Stephen Alan Crystal, Founder of EGAMERSGUIDE.COM
Gambling and betting still remain something of a grey area in Vietnam. Thus, it is anticipated that Vietnam lawmakers will make sports betting legal in the near future.
Over the last eight years I have visited all parts of Vietnam looking to make significant investment here in the casino industry as well as betting activities. The timing could not be better for this announcement.
It a great move for attracting investment to Vietnam. It is time to bring this multibillion-dollar industry out of the shadows.
Matthias Dühn, General director, Viet Diligence Legal Ltd.
I believe that extending the pilot Decree No. 06/2017/ND-CP from betting on horse racing, greyhound racing, and international football to include all forms of sports betting is good news for Vietnam. Article 68 of the new draft law will make sure that the Vietnamese government can now secure millions of dollars more in tax income for the state budget, money that Vietnamese people might have otherwise spent in neighbouring countries.
Allowing all forms of sports betting in Vietnam also sets a positive signal for the Vietnamese government to allow for more forms of entertainment in Vietnam, empowering responsible citizens who do not need state protection from the perceived dangers of sports betting.
This reflects a modern view of not seeing (sports) betting as a form of ‘social evil’. This is provided that sports betting remains a conditional sector that carefully examines operators of betting activities and requires solid capitalisation of such businesses, so that fraudulent operations are avoided from the start.
The new law will also significantly improve the investment environment in Vietnam and offer attractive opportunities for foreign investment in sports betting operations. This was already shown with Decree 06, with more foreign direct investment (FDI) inflows occurring soon after it came into effect.
With all forms of sports betting allowed in the new draft law, FDI inflow into this sector is likely to increase even more, thus bringing more money and expertise into Vietnam. Even if so far, there are no official statistics about the exact volume of foreign currency flowing into sports and betting companies in Vietnam, analysts estimate that it is a significant amount. This will be particularly true once all forms of gambling and betting operations such as casinos will hopefully become fully legal for both Vietnamese and foreigners in the country in the future.
Hong Nam Pyo, CEO & chairman, GOMAX Co., Ltd
There are no official statistics about the amount of foreign currency flowing into betting companies in Vietnam, but analysts say it is a huge amount. The legalisation of betting on sports is expected to not only offer entertainment, but also provide the state with major tax revenue, estimated at hundreds of millions of dollars a year.
It is also expected to reduce illegal betting and gambling in the country. Illegal betting and gambling can create obstacles for the sound development of the society. With the new legislation, betting on football, horse and dog racing will be implemented sooner rather than later, creating many new service and entertainment jobs in Vietnam and motivating the development of this new industry.
GOMAX applied for a licence to invest in an international-standard horse racetrack project in the northern province of Vinh Phuc in 2005, but had to wait for a long time to reach the goal line for implementation.