Vietnam lifts football betting ban

Vietnamese punters will finally be able to place wagers on international football matches from the end of March as a result of a new decree release by the government on Friday, local media reports.

Until recently, locals had been barred from all forms of gambling, with only a few foreigner-only casinos in the country.

The pilot programme, which takes effect March 31, 2017, will allow Vietnamese citizens over the age of 21 to place bets on international football matches recognized by FIFA and approved by Vietnam’s sports ministry.

Online betting is not allowed, and bookmakers are required to be located at least 500 meters away from schools and venues with children.

Bookmaking operators will also need to meet strict capital requirements depending on what sport is offered. According to the decree, bookmakers will require VND1 trillion for horse racing and football, and VND 300 billion for greyhound.

Additionally, punters will be required to meet a minimum bet value of VND1,000 (US$0.04), while keeping within the daily maximum limit of VND1 million (US$44).

It is also understood that the government will select one football betting provider for a five-year trial phase via a bidding process.

The recent news follows on from the recent relaxation of Vietnam’s long-standing ban on casino gambling, with locals allowed to enter two selected casinos in the country starting March 15.