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Betting in Vietnam

Published on: 08/08/2016

After the Second Indo-china War of 1959-1975, Vietnam gained independence as a communist-ruled country. Economic development became the main focus as a lot of post-war rebuilding was required, and gambling was left to its own devices, leading to an increase in underground activity.

By the end of the last century, Vietnam was one of the world’s fastest growing economies. The government decided to initiate a national lottery as a way of generating revenues for state projects. The state sought the help of a Canadian business called Pacific Lottery Corporation PLC, which led to the creation of a lottery based in Hanoi.

By 2006, Pacific Lottery was commissioned to make another lottery, this time to be based in the highly populated city of Ho Chi Minh. Part of the deal included Pacific Lottery being given the rights to offer regulated sports wagering in Vietnam. Within a matter of 24 months, lottery kiosks began to appear throughout the nation, as well as mobile lottery vendors and internet lottery services. The Vietnamese government were so impressed with Pacific Lottery that they granted a further 10-year extension onto their contract, up to the year 2018. Vietnamese officials also started discussing the ideas of opening up the nations gambling market.

In 2003, the more prestigious hotels in Vietnam were given the go ahead to facilitate table games and slot machines to the foreign visitors with passports. By 2008, the legalities of allowing betting companies to trade in Vietnam were put into motion by the Ministry of Finance.

Currently, Vietnam has six large hotels with casino facilities for the sole use of foreigners. These hotels are located in Da Nang, Hai Phong, Loi Lai, Lao Cai, Do Son and Ha Long.

The Crown International Club is a dedicate casino located in Da Nang. It first opened its doors in 2010, offering 535 rooms, eight games tables and 100 slot machines. In 2009, Phu Quoc Island was scheduled to become the location chosen for the building of a $4 billion casino complex - however, the plans were delayed Vietnamese officials were keen to establish permits for sports gambling venues but suggested motions were not passed and progress has been slow. As a result, it remains illegal to gamble with bookmakers throughout the nation. Due to the gambling limitations, Vietnamese citizens have found other avenues to wager via the Internet. There are nearly 500 off-shore sports gambling web sites who welcome play from Vietnam, a handful even provide information using the Vietnamese language. The Vietnamese authorities continue to crack down on illegal gambling activities, but no actual measures have been taken to prevent the citizens from wagering online in the comfort of their own homes.