Vietnam Wants Its Gamblers To Reduce The Budget Deficit
Well, when it comes to money, governments also get weak and let a decision pass in order to gain profits. Vietnam, whose debts accumulated to over 60% of its GDP as of 2016, finally decided to test out the gambling industry on domestic soil. Local gambling was banned for a significant time, and now a pilot project has been approved to see how gambling fits the country.
In order to prevent a further budget deficit, the Government agreed to grant local licenses to gambling operators and it will collect revenues on the operations. Besides casinos, betting on horses, dogs, and football games is also approved.
The Ministry of Finance (MOF) also started a lottery in cooperation with Malaysia’s Berjaya Corp. when statistics revealed that Vietnamese citizens spent around $800 million per year on gambling activities outside Vietnam like in Singapore or Macau. The government reconsidered to lift the ban on local gambling. Further statistics revealed that the Vietnamese also like the lottery so they spent $13 billion on lottery tickets in a three-year span.
The Vietnamese government certainly started to think in the right direction with an attempt to keep the millions and billions in the country as they need the money very much. Not only will the state budget grow, but also foreign investment in the country could significantly benefit Vietnam. It has been said that a $3 billion additional investment in Vietnamese casinos would enhance the GDP by 0.58%.
The lottery has also been taken to a higher level, as the Berjaya Co.’s Vielott Lottery is more modern with computerized setting and rivals the lotteries set up in provinces. The new lottery flourishes and even a 55-year-old Vietnamese left his secure insurance job to sell lottery tickets on the street and out of a garage. The industry is already booming, as the case of this guy proves who sells lottery tickets worth 45 cents and by the end of the day, his profit accumulates to over $1,000 in worth.
Gambling in Less Developed Countries and The Pilot Project
The gambling industry has always been booming in underdeveloped and poorer countries; these populations tend to gamble more on average than people in developed societies.
As for the pilot project, it has a timeframe of three years within which local Vietnamese have the right to spend their money in foreign casinos in the country. It is not the first time that Vietnam relies on the games of chance to fill the state budget as the first Vietnamese lottery, opened in 1961, funded school and hospital construction projects.
Still, the government wants to assess other risk factors during the pilot period since gambling brings along negative factors like excessive drinking, addiction, and debts. The government will also take care to keep the casinos in remote areas and avoid central parts of cities as a safety measure to limit access to those people who simply cannot afford it.
As for prevention measures, the Vietnam government also prohibits gambling under the age of 21 and requires people to have steady incomes. The extension of the gambling industry is not only the case in Vietnam as other Asian countries also undertook similar measures enabling their citizens to try their luck.