Finance ministry seeks to legalize gambling

TN News

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A new draft law prepared by the Finance Ministry legitimizes betting on horse races, dog races and football games.

Under the draft law, all Vietnamese people, foreigners or overseas Vietnamese staying legally in Vietnam are allowed to bet on the games.

Each person is allowed to bet between VND10,000 and VND1 million (US$51) a day. For dog and horse races, the draft limits each person to bet no more three days a week at one racecourse, local news website VnExpress said Monday.

The ministry first introduced the issue more than a year ago but it took time to study it further before the draft was submitted to the government.

Illegal organization of gambling has made many headlines while many foreign-invested projects to build horse and dog racecourses in Hanoi and Ho Chi Minh City have been left on paper for several years.

The draft law seeks to provide a management tool on this form of entertainment. Gambling was hitherto considered a social evil in Vietnam.

Statistics compiled by the Finance Ministry show that Vietnamese people spend around US$2 billion every year on betting and as it was done in secret, the government was not able to tax it.

Supporters of the draft have said the government should legalize betting to manage it more easily and earn some revenue, arguing further that it was an activity difficult to ban.

Yet many others have argued that gambling generates poverty and the Penal Code has termed gambling illegal.

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