Betting legalization plans criticized for low daily limit

The finance ministry of Vietnam is seeking the government’s approval to legalize sports betting under a plan that has been criticized for keeping the maximum stake far too low.

According to an unnamed finance ministry official, the ministry would submit the proposal to the government this month. 

However, the plan has been criticized for its measly daily cap, a $45 a day limit.

Nguyen Hoang Hai, deputy chair of the Vietnam Association of Financial Investors said he was disappointed the ministry had stuck to proposals made in a 2010 draft. “No one will bet within the proposed limit of VND1 million (US$45) a day. Or they will have others to bet for them.” 

“Betting should be either banned or legalized. But it should not be half allowed like this,” he added. 

The proposal seeks to legalize betting on certain international football matches that would be decided by the Ministry of Culture, Sports and Tourism. People would be allowed to bet on the scores, number of red and yellow cards, etc.

However, Nguyen Hanh Phuc, the NA general secretary, said only poor people would gamble under the proposed rule.

“Rich people and big gamblers will still bet illegally.”

Le Dang Doanh, former director of the Central Institute for Economic Management, said the draft plan would not curb illegal betting.

“The underground betting amount is huge. The low limit will be unable to attract money from gamblers.”