Mandatory Bidding Process Introduced for Football Betting Business in Vietnam

By Saloni Sehmi
Football Betting Business in Vietnam Mandates Bidding Process

Government Decree Requires Bidding Process for International Football Betting in Vietnam

The Vietnamese Government has issued Decree 23/2024, stating that the international football betting business project must conduct a bidding process to select investors. This requirement is in accordance with the Bidding Law.

According to the decree, investors who want to operate international football betting activities in Vietnam must participate in a bidding process. The same applies to projects related to horse and dog racing investments, including betting activities, if there is interest from two or more investors.

This regulation was originally highlighted in Decree 06, which was issued in 2017 and covers the business of betting on horse racing, dog racing, and international football. At that time, a pilot business was allowed to operate international football betting through a bidding process.

Despite this, no business has been granted permission to pilot such ventures. However, a lottery business representative expressed plans to launch international football betting activities last year, in compliance with the law.

In late 2021, the Ministry of Finance proposed amendments to Decree 06, including allowing betting on European national football championships and online ticket purchases.

The Ministry of Finance also proposed changes to investor requirements, specifying a minimum capital investment of VND1 trillion ($40.5 million) and limiting foreign investors’ ownership to 50%. Additionally, companies would need to contribute a minimum of 5% of betting revenue in cash (excluding taxes) to the state budget.

However, the issuance of this new decree is still pending, which presents challenges in selecting pilot businesses.

Illegal football betting rings that wager billions of Vietnamese dong on global football matches are regularly uncovered and prosecuted by law enforcement agencies. The internet is flooded with advertisements for online betting websites such as FB88, Fi88, and Bet88.

Despite the illegal nature of the market, the Vietnamese illegal football betting industry is estimated to be worth tens of billions of USD annually. The government struggles to control the flow of money and collect taxes.

Many foreign investors have shown interest in the international football betting business in Vietnam, as it has been legalized in several countries worldwide.

Analysts recommend that the government establishes a stringent and appropriate regulatory framework to attract investors in the betting sector. Such a framework would provide citizens with a legal alternative for their pastimes and generate tax and fee revenue for the state budget.

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