The government of Vietnam has issued a decree that does away with the ban on sports betting by Vietnamese citizens. The decision comes as a measure to fight the thriving illegal gambling industry in the country.
Punters have welcomed the amendment to the law with open arms. The provision that allows wagers to be placed on FIFA-recognized international football matches has spurred the biggest enthusiasm. In addition, the document states that nationals over the age of 21 will be permitted to gamble at horse and greyhound races.
It is not coming up roses, though, as the decree puts several restrictions in place. Firstly, football bets should not amount to more than one million dong (USD 44) per match. Secondly, Vietnamese will only be legally admitted to state-approved bookmakers.
The move has provoked mixed reactions. Next to outright supporters, there are also people who are concerned that players might waste their savings and even homes.
Online commentator Nguyen Thanh Phuc has successfully captured the conflicting moods: “Bravo! No need for secret betting. […] Gamblers now have another thing to play. Many families will be miserable again.”