Vietnam Police Bust $40m Illegal Soccer Betting Ring

  • Police detained six people for operating an illegal betting site following numerous raids
  • The authorities said it was a sophisticated and confidential gambling operation
  • Vietnamese authorities have warned of increased illegal gambling during the World Cup
  • Gambling is largely illegal in Vietnam, and running an operation can result in prison time
Vietnam flag and handcuffs
Authorities in Vietnam have taken down an illegal online betting ring worth $40m. [Image: Shutterstock.com]

Taking down the operation

On the brink of the FIFA World Cup, authorities in Vietnam have busted an illegal soccer gambling ring worth $40m. Police from the province of Bac Ninh revealed on Wednesday that they had detained six people following investigations into illegal gambling. A man called Nguyen Duy Tung has allegedly led the operation since the start of 2022.

Raids took place on Sunday in numerous locations

The illegal gambling ring used a website called Bongda88 to carry out its operation. Raids took place on Sunday in numerous locations in Vinh Phuc, Hanoi, and Bac Ninh. More than 100 officers from different police forces took part.

The High-Tech Crime Prevention and the Department of Cyber Security also helped in the investigations. In total, they seized four cars, 15 phones, various bank cards, and certain documents. Authorities claimed it was a tricky investigation as it was a sophisticated and confidential gambling operation.

Big time for bettors

Kicking off on Sunday, the FIFA World Cup is one of the biggest sporting events in the world, only taking place every four years. It attracts a huge amount of attention from bettors, and as such authorities in Vietnam are concerned about the possibility of rising illegal betting activity until the tournament ends on December 18.

The Ministry of Public Security chief of office and spokesperson Lieutenant General To An Xo issued a warning on Friday to illegal gambling operators. He said police would increase efforts to shut down any forms of illegal betting during the World Cup.

For markets where betting is legal, VegasSlotsOnline News recently took a look at how sportsbook odds have shifted in the buildup to the Sunday World Cup kickoff.

A real problem

Gambling is largely illegal in Vietnam, except for a few casinos that are mainly aimed at tourists. Locals are able to enter these gambling properties only if they can meet certain financial and other types of criteria.

People found to be running illegal gambling operations in Vietnam can receive fines of up to VND50m ($2,150) or get up to seven years in prison.

Online gambling is illegal in many Asian countries, but citizens sometimes use illegal or offshore gambling platforms in order to engage in sports betting or casino games. China is particularly active in cracking down on illegal gambling operations, reporting 75,000+ arrests in 2020.