National Assembly delegate calls for legalizing sports betting

By Viet Tuan, Son Ha   August 10, 2022 | 01:46 am PT
National Assembly delegate calls for legalizing sports betting
Horsemen on a racecourse complex in the Dai Nam Tourism Park in the southern province of Binh Duong. Photo by VnExpress/Thanh Nguyen
A National Assembly delegate proposed Wednesday that the government legalizes sports betting to better manage clandestine activities.

In a National Assembly questioning session for Minister of Public Security To Lam, delegate Pham Van Hoa said online gambling crimes and crime rings occur and operate in a complex manner, despite the best police efforts.

"I believe it is time for our country to put into practice the Decree on the Business of Betting on Horse Racing, Greyhound Racing and International Soccer for better management and taxation, while also limiting online betting," said Hoa.

Ho Duc Phoc, Minister of Finance, said such a decree had already been issued in 2017 while the finance ministry had issued a related circular. In 2020, the prime minister also approved an initiative for a horse racecourse in Hanoi's Soc Son District. However, due to multiple difficulties, the plan has yet to be put into practice.

"Once the horse and dog racing projects are completed, the finance ministry would provide certificates to prove that those projects have satisfied enough business requirements for betting. However, no project has been completed so far," he said.

Phoc said three provinces Phu Yen, Lam Dong and Vinh Phuc have proposed initiatives to invest in horse racecourses, but so far these have only reached the research phase.

Hoa said while authorities have managed to bust several illegal sports betting activities in recent times, they remain complex and widespread as the decree on the business of betting has yet to be put into practice, despite having been issued in 2017.

Hoa said Vietnam has already allowed casinos to operate as a trial, so why not betting?

"If it cannot be allowed right now, there has to be a reason why," he said.

The finance ministry said it has sought opinions from the Ministry of Planning and Investment and the Ministry of Justice to make adjustments to the betting decree, Phoc said.

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