Illegal gambling in Vietnam is closely monitored by the authorities in order to maintain an utmost level of control over it, especially true during the 2018 FIFA World Cup when a $26-million illegal sports wagering ring was busted during a nation-wide crackdown. This week the four individuals responsible for its operation finally received their sentences ranging from 7 to 9 years behind bars.
Criminals who strive to outplay the law and refuse to abide by it are destined to face the penalties resulting from such behavior, as the last days confirmed. The four individuals closely related to the operation of the illegal football gambling ring which has been in operation several years prior to it heard their sentences this week. Following an extensive investigation of the gambling ring, La Tung Thinh, 55, was identified as the kingpin behind it.
Punishment for the Criminal Activities Announced
As it could be expected he received the largest sentence reaching a total of 9 years in prison for his illegal actions and the full-fledged criminal organization he was overseeing ever in across the years between 2014 and 2016. Ho Chi Minh City’s court ruled on the case and penalized the remaining three criminals linked to the operation with sentences ranging from five to seven years.
The three of them are aged between 28 and 55, but what should be taken into account is that these four individuals are not the sole criminals overseeing operation of the illegal sports betting ring. There are as many as 22 people who have also participated in the illegal organization’s operation and, as it has been confirmed, they would be sentenced to up to three years behind bars for it. The maximum punishment for criminals involved in illegal gambling amounts to 10 years in jail.
Legal actions were taken following the investigation on the illegal ring. The organization has been in operation for several years in the past. Illegal wagering was on offer at the three Philippines-based web pages managed by it, to the liking of Vwin.com, W88.com, and Fun88.com. As it has been confirmed, the main objective of the sites was to provide gambling enthusiasts with the opportunity to bet on their preferred sports events, as Vietnam’s gambling framework strongly prohibits it.
Money transfers were then carried out with the help of bank transfers or with the utilization of ATMs. As it has been revealed during the investigation of the illegal ring, as many as 60 bank accounts have been established in order to provide the entire process with the needed resources. The success rates and popularity of this illegal operation have been further confirmed by the VND622 billion (US$26 million) generated over the said time period, the investigation revealed.
Vietnam Gambling Field Environment
What should be taken into account, is that across Vietnam gambling is significantly restricted as the state regulator has given green light to the state lottery, as well as several casino venues which allow foreigners to gamble in them. The said sports betting sites have provided nationals with the opportunity to enjoy gambling offerings without the regulations protecting their best interest.
It is not a secret to anyone, that during major championships such as the 2018 FIFA World Cup where the world spotlight is on sports events, illegal activities thrive. Striving to make the most of the hype surrounding it, criminal organizations capitalize on it, but at the same time, authorities dedicate their efforts to hunting them down. Such parallel action occurred over the span of this summer as well.
The targeted investigations throughout Vietnam and several illegal ring busts came only weeks after a concerning report regarding the region. It confirmed that illegal gaming across Asia amounts to some 80 percent of the global black betting market. Betting enthusiasts have managed to bet as much as $500 million in an illegal manner because of the gaming restrictions.
This prompts questions regarding the level of regulation applied to the field, as well as brings the topic of potential future casino expansion to the table. Introducing a wider range of legal gaming offerings could significantly improve the current state of the field, raking up a considerable amount of money generated through legal gambling, ultimately boosting the local economy.