Legal football betting to create jobs
HA NOI — If football betting is to become legalised by the middle of next year, it would create scores of jobs for former players and coaches.
The current draft, which should be ready to be submitted to the Government later this month, is designed to limit illegal betting and corruption in football which have plagued the sport for years.
“Apart from helping limit illegal betting throughout the country, the project will be a big source to finance the country’s sport development and physical training cause while providing jobs to local former players and coaches,” said Huynh Vinh Ai, vice chairman of the National Committee of Sports and Physical Culture, at Wednesday’s meeting with the Viet Nam Football Federation (VFF) and the police to review the results of last season’s clean-up campaign.
“The foreign bookmaker, which will be chosen later to co-operate with us in the project, will send their experts to train local staff, who will be mostly retired players and coaches,” said Ai, adding that this will help the former players and coaches stabilise their lives with long-term jobs.
Two hundred betting agencies will be initially set up in localities throughout the country, each of which will employ up to seven former members of the local sports and physical culture department.
“If the project goes well, hundreds more will be established, providing jobs to thousands,” said Ai, who added that the project is expected to see its foreign partner contributing 49 per cent of the investment capital.
A betting addicts fund will be established as well to help people to control their gambling.
“The fund runs with part of the company’s turnover to send its staff to consult those people who have gambled too much money too many times, to help them become aware of their doings,” said Ai.
The fund will also help jobless addicts find work.
The legalised football betting plan has received support from the police, who are helping VFF clean up the country’s football that has been seriously ridden with corruption, match-fixing and illegal betting.
Major General Pham Xuan Quac, chief of investigation police department C14, expressed his approval of the project at Wednesday’s meeting in Nha Trang, explaining it would satisfy a large group of people for entertainment from the sport, decrease illegal betting, and bring home fresh funds for the state budget.
Ai said turnover raised from legal betting would be around VND5 trillion (US$313.5 million).
A reported total turnover from illegal football betting in Viet Nam would reach $1 billion a year. An estimated $200 millions is flown from Viet Nam to Singapore, Hong Kong and Macau every year for football betting.
Placing bets on the result of football game is, at present, totally banned in the country.
The Government has recently given the green light to the sports committee to compile a draft law on legalisation after a series of cases of illegal football betting rocked the country.
The draft bill on legalising football betting is to be petitioned to the Government for a final decision this month.
Five foreign bookmakers are waiting for the go-ahead from the Government to sign contracts with Viet Nam.
The betting scandal resulted in the sacking of the nation’s deputy transport minister, as well as the resignation of the minister. — VNS
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