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Football betting biz in Vietnam mandates bidding process: report

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According to a newly issued government decree in Vietnam, the international football betting business project will be required to undergo a bidding process to select investors.

The local media outlet Vietnam Net reported that the government decree stipulates the mandatory implementation of bidding procedures in line with the Bidding Law for selecting investors.

This decree applies to investors seeking to engage in international football betting ventures in Vietnam. Furthermore, it extends to projects involving investments in horse and dog racing, encompassing betting activities, which require bidding when there are expressions of interest from two or more investors.

The regulation is reaffirmed in a decree issued in 2017, which pertains to betting activities on horse racing, dog racing, and international football. During that period, the government sanctioned a pilot project for international football betting, which was to be conducted through a bidding mechanism.

To date, no company has been authorized to initiate such pilot initiatives. In 2023, a spokesperson for a lottery operator disclosed in their development strategy up to 2025 their intention to introduce international football betting operations in adherence to legal requirements.

In late 2021, the Ministry of Finance put forward revisions to the aforementioned decree, which included allowing betting on European national football championships and enabling online purchase of betting tickets.

During the same period, the Ministry of Finance proposed alterations to two investor conditions. Firstly, investors must have a minimum capital investment of VND1 trillion ($40.5 million), with foreign investors collectively holding no more than 50 percent ownership. Secondly, companies must commit to contributing a minimum of 5 percent of their betting revenue to the state budget in cash (excluding taxes).

Nevertheless, this updated decree has yet to be formally issued.

According to the same report, the underground football betting market in Vietnam is believed to generate tens of billions of US dollar annually, posing challenges for the state in regulating money flow and tax collection.

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