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Arrests in Vietnam after crackdown on sports betting

Online gambling ring exposed in Vietnam
The Vietnam government claims to have arrested four individuals for their participation as part of an online gambling ring.

According to ChannelNewsAsia out of Hanoi, the capital of Vietnam, the gambling was related to World Cup football and the cash flow associated with the gambling ring was lucrative. The news source stated that “Vietnamese police broke up an online football gambling ring worth around US$26 million”.

Where gambling is starting to become increasingly legal in the United States, the arrests are a reminder that the practice of online gambling remains illegal in other parts of the world. Those that are convicted of participating in illegal forms of online gambling while in Vietnam may face 10 years in prison.

It’s believed that major sporting events play a role in illegal betting. Accordingly, the World Cup is currently running and the matches are getting to the high-drama points. Football is one of the most popular sports in Vietnam, along with badminton, Aussie-rules football, cricket, tennis, and rugby.

An irony of the arrests in Vietnam is that they come at a time where the country was seemingly preparing to relax sports-betting restrictions. Just two weeks ago the Vietnamese government passed a bill on sports betting, according to Asian News website Zing. This news seemed to parallel a relaxed attitude toward sports gambling on the other side of the Pacific Ocean, where the USA is seeing a surge in legalization.

However, this updated law in Vietnam would require that bets be made through a government-authorized source and the currency would be the Vietnamese Dong. Those that facilitated the online betting that lead to the recent arrests did so in conjunction with a website based out of the Philippines.

Furthermore, the changed law was meant to go into effect in July.

What penalties those that were arrested will face is unclear at this time.

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