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Vietnam Follows Asian Trend Of Ending Gambling Prohibition

Asian countries received a glimpse of what legalized and regulated gambling could bring when Macau opened up their casino gambling industry. Prior to allowing gaming companies from other countries to become licensed in Macau, Stanley Ho and his SJM Holdings company held a monopoly on the activity.

When other countries saw the hundreds of millions of dollars in revenue that Macau was making from the newly formed gaming industry, they quickly started to change their own laws. Singapore and Malaysia have been the first to follow suit and regulate casino gambling, and now comes word that Vietnam is preparing to legalize sports betting. It is a move that could bring millions of dollars in tax revenue to the country.

American football is a popular betting sport, but for Asian gamblers, their passion is still soccer. Underground betting operations have been around in Asia for decades, but as the culture has come to accept gambling, more and more regulated sports books are being developed. In Vietnam, lawmakers believe that giving bettors a legalized option will help keep people from falling into the social ills created by the underground market.

Vietnam has a tricky law on the books regarding casino gambling. Several casinos are licensed in Vietnam, but Vietnamese patrons are not permitted to gamble in the casinos. Only Visa-holding foreigners can bet in the casinos. Now, Vietnam Finance Minister Vuong Dinh Hue believes that the government needs to change its stance.

The Prime Minster spent the weekend in Singapore, being introduced to the model Singapore has put in place regarding casino gambling. More importantly for the Vietnamese was Hue's conversations with Singapore officials regarding their sports books.

US gaming companies will be keeping a close eye on the developments in Vietnam. US companies such as Las Vegas Sands, MGM Resorts, and Wynn Resorts, have all expanded into Asia, and executives from these companies view Asia as the up-and-coming gambling area in the world.

Sheldon Adelson, CEO of LVS, took the risk of moving into Macau, and that risk helped Adelson and LVS get through the economic recession. Now, Adelson is spending his time trying to convince Vietnamese officials that casino resorts would be beneficial to the country, an assertion that Prime Minister Hue appears to be taking seriously.

Vietnam has a population of over 90 million, making the country a key destination for foreign gaming companies looking to succeed in the Asian market.

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