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Vietnam mulls allowing sports betting via e-wallets, mobile accounts

Wednesday, June 24, 2020, 22:37 GMT+7
Vietnam mulls allowing sports betting via e-wallets, mobile accounts
Trent Alexander-Arnold (holding his chest) of Liverpool celebrates scoring his side’s fourth goal with Jordan Henderson and Andy Robertson during the Premier League match between Leicester City and Liverpool FC at The King Power Stadium in Leicester, United Kingdom, December 26, 2019. Photo: Reuters

A draft amendment to a 2017 decree on sports betting in Vietnam is looking to allow the payment of bets via e-wallets or mobile accounts as well as expanding the scope of international football matches Vietnamese citizens can legally bet on.

The Ministry of Finance draft, which seeks to amend an effective decree released in 2017 on the businesses of betting on horse racing, greyhound racing, and international football, was made available for feedback on the ministry’s e-portal late last week.

The ministry said that it was necessary to allow more methods of payment for sports bets in the context of the rapid development of technology and electronic payments.

Allowing bets to be paid via e-wallets and telecommunications accounts is aimed at creating favorable conditions for punters, it said.

Under current regulations, payments for bets could be made only with bank accounts at credit institutions.

In addition, the finance ministry also proposed allowing people in Vietnam to place their bets not only on international football matches recognized by the International Federation of Association Football (FIFA) but also on games in major European and American leagues.

The leagues suggested by the ministry include England’s Premier League, Spain’s La Liga, Germany’s Bundesliga, Italy’s Serie A, and France’s Ligue 1, among others, which are played throughout the year and have large numbers of fans.

The proposed expansion of the list of football matches eligible for legal betting is meant to attract more investors to participate in the betting business, as the existing legislation only allows betting on FIFA U-17 World Cup, FIFA U-20 World Cup, FIFA World Cup, FIFA Women's World Cup, FIFA Club World Cup, and matches not played by the Vietnamese national team.

These tournaments often last for only up to a month and take place once every two or four years while betting enterprises are required to have a registered capital of at least VND1 trillion (US$43 million), making the investment unlucrative.

In reality, no enterprises have invested in the sports betting business in Vietnam since the 2017 decree took effect.

According to the decree, betting is a business with prerequisites and must be put under tight control, while online betting is prohibited.

People wishing to place wagers by telephone must have a betting account registered with the bet-organizing enterprise.

Those registering a betting account will need to provide their ID or passport number and a bank account number.

Gamblers must be over 21 years old while the wager limit is set at VND1 million (US$43) per day.

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