Illegal gambling has been taking over Vietnam regardless of the measures taken in order to prevent it from happening, further proved by the most recent gambling ring bust. The authorities managed to ambush a gambling den which has generated some $26 million during its operation related to wagering on sports events and a wide variety of other gambling activities.
This week saw yet another police raid ambushing the illicit operation of an organization dedicating its operation to accepting bets on sports events. Players are attracted to the gaming offering, as it provides them with an entertaining pastime, whereas its online-based nature makes it easily accessible. The said websites have been in operation ever since July, making the best of 2018 FIFA World Cup’s potential when it comes to wagering and the sports betting fever which had taken over the world.
Ambushing Online Gambling Ring’s Headquarters
Raids were conducted across a couple of residences sprinkled across the central province of Quang Nam. As a result, some seven people were arrested for the management of the gambling ring, as they were present on site at the time of the operation. Later on, another three individuals turned themselves in, facilitating the police officers by saving them time. However, the investigation is still ongoing, as there might be other ring participants still roaming the streets.
It has been confirmed that the arrested criminals were also involved in the illegal offering of loans to residents of the central and southern parts of the country with high interest levels. They were also often conducting debts collecting utilizing force in the process, further proving their criminal status. Huynh Quoc Viet, 37, was identified as the kingpin behind the illegal organization, meaning that if penalties are being given, he could receive up to 10 years behind bars.
During the raids, the authorities were able to confiscate various objects to the liking of a couple of cars belonging to the arrested individuals, mobile phones utilized during the operation of the online illegal ring, two rifles, as well as a total of $20,000 in cash. More members of the organization are currently being traced.
Regulations Amendments Are Being Sought
Vietnam has been battling illegal gaming activities and organizations with fervent dedication, but as it turns out police raids are not enough for it to be effectively eliminated at the end of the day. Experts state that a change in the existing set of rules should be introduced. At the moment gambling is considered illegal throughout the country, including online betting.
Foreigners are the only individuals allowed to gamble at casino venues. For criminals willing to trespass the law, there are penalties reaching up to a decade behind bars, depending on the level of involvement in the illegal organization. However, last year there have been talks about potential sports betting legalization, eyeing foreign investment.
Due to the current high popularity of illegal betting, lawmakers of the communist government consider the opportunity of capitalizing on their interest and raking in betting revenue, instead of letting it slip away. Vietnamese nationals might also be allowed in casino venues. This was great news for international sports betting companies seeking exploration of new markets and developing their operation within Vietnam. Upcoming months might see more work in this direction.
It could be recalled that this is not the first case of major law trespassing when it comes to gambling since this March witnessed the busting of Vietnam’s largest online gambling ring utilizing the game of Rikvip. Operation of the organization drew some $426 million from players gambling across three years. Vietnamese mobile operators such as Viettel, Vinaphone, and Mobiphone were all involved with their top-up cards.
In addition to that, Phan Van Vinh, former Director of the Ministry of Public Security’s General Police Department, as well as Nguyen Thanh Hoa, the Ministry’s former cyber-crime expert, were guaranteeing an umbrella of protection for the ring. Investigation is still in progress.