Google removes 56 gambling apps at Vietnam’s behest

By Phan Anh   October 4, 2018 | 05:05 pm PT
Google removes 56 gambling apps at Vietnam’s behest
Online gambling is prohibited in Vietnam. Photo by Reuters
Google recently removed 56 Vietnamese-language gambling apps from its Google Play store as requested by the Vietnamese government.

Le Quang Tu Do, Deputy Director of the Broadcasting and Electronic Information Authority, said the apps, mostly card, casino or lottery games, were removed for not complying with Vietnamese law.

The Vietnam News Agency reported Wednesday that 16 of the removed apps were illegally exploiting users’ data, which violate Google Play’s terms, while the other 40 were removed upon request from the Vietnamese government, as it doesn’t allow online gambling.

Helena Lersch, head of Google’s Public Policy and Government Relations for Asia-Pacific region, said Google does not allow any content related to online gambling, but to remove inappropriate content, they must be flagged and reported to the firm.

Last month, police from the central province of Thanh Hoa busted a $26.7 million online soccer gambling syndicate that used the website www.3in1bet.

Also last month, police in the central province of Quang Nam busted a $25.7 million ring, operating on the U.S.-based site bong88.

Vietnamese are known for their fondness for gambling. It is estimated that they spend at least $800 million a year gambling overseas, mainly in Macau, Singapore and Hong Kong.

Official figures show that Vietnamese spent $13 billion on the lottery between 2011 and 2015, a Nikkei report has said.

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