Vietnam legislature backs legalized football betting

Full-time National Assembly deputies debated the draft Sports Law Wednesday, with several supporting the proposal of legalizing betting on sports games, particularly on football.

Deputy Nguyen Huu Nhon of central Binh Dinh province said the country should have regulations that allow legal betting in sport with the content of such rules varying depending on the characteristics of each game.

“You can bet legally on horse races, greyhound races and buffalo fights in Vietnam. Meanwhile, betting on such a popular game like football is still prohibited,” Nhon said.

Sharing Nhon’s view, Tao Huu Phung, deputy chairman of the NA’s Economic and Budget Committee said the Civil Code already allowed the form of betting.

“I understand the Government had instructed the National Committee for Sports and Physical Training to develop a project on legal organized football betting. So drafting regulations to create legal basis for this is necessary,” Phung said.

He suggested the country allow the organization of football lottery like the current form of the state construction lottery.

According to him, revenues from football betting would be used to create a fresh impetus to develop local amateur sports, including football.

Nguyen Thi Tam Dan, chairwoman of the NA Commission for Culture, Education, Youth and Children said the organization of activities to increase budgets for the sports sector should be considered carefully.

She said the draft law should encourage all individuals and organizations to contribute to developing sports, including the establishment of private sports centers.

“The draft law does not regulate sports betting, but only forbids illegal betting on sports games,” Dan said.