Soon after the government of Vietnam approved sports betting, investors began plans to pour millions of dollars into projects.
The government’s Decree 06 allowing Vietnamese nationals to bet on horse and dog races as well as international football has been compared to ‘an arrow aimed at many different goals’. It promotes the dynamism of the economy, creates entertainment models, and eases ‘foreign currency bleeding’ across border gates.
There are no official statistics about the amount of foreign currency flowing into international betting companies from Vietnam, but analysts say it is a huge amount.
The Hanoi Police last year discovered two illegal football betting rings worth VND7.6 trillion. That is why analysts believe the Vietnamese betting market may be worth billions of dollars a year.
Oliver Massmann, a lawyer from Duane Morris, said many Vietnamese go abroad to gamble. With the decree, Vietnam will no longer lose millions of dollars to betting companies in neighboring countries.
The legalization of betting on horse racing and football is expected to not only provides entertainment, but also brings the state big money from taxes, estimated at hundreds of millions of dollars a year, thus easing the public debt.
The new policy on sports betting is also expected to make the investment environment in Vietnam more attractive.
After two years of a FDI boom in Vietnam, some experts said that if there are no big changes, it will be difficult for Vietnam to gain high achievements in attracting FDI this year as it did in the last two years.
They warned that the demise of TPP, the challenges from protectionism applied by large economies and Samsung’s political scandal may affect FDI flow to Vietnam.
“The government has loosened the policy on casino and sports betting to lure more FDI and attract more travelers,” said Bach An Vien from KIS Vietnam Securities.
Several investment projects capitalized at millions of dollars each have been designed, targeting the sports betting sector.
These include a $1.5 billion horse race course in Hanoi by G.O. Max I&D from South Korea, a race course in Da Nang City by Matrix Holdings from Hong Kong and a $500 million complex of golf and horse race courses by Global Consultant Network from South Korea.
Australian Golden Turf Club has projected a $100 million horse race course in the central region, while Vietnamese Dai Nam JSC has opened a $100 million horse race course in Dai Nam Tourism Complex in Binh Duong province.