In Vietnam, it is illegal to gamble. The Hai Phong police arrested Bui Quang Duong, 43, after arresting 23 of his associate in what turned out to be a major sports gambling racket with thousands of clients. The organized online gambling operation is estimated to add up to 7.6 trillion Dong the equivalent of 340-million U.S. Dollars.

Police arrested Duong in Ha Long Town in Quang Ninh, where he had fled to by boat after the arrest of his associates. The Ministry of Public Security and Police force are working to find out if more people were a part of this illegal operation in Vietnam.

The Ministry successfully arrested ten people who allegedly organized and took bets on football in Hai Phong, Hanoi, and Ho Chi Minh City. This operation has collected hundreds of billions of dong from bets the European Football Championship games.

Aside from the Vietnamese lottery that has been in operation since 1999, gambling laws in Vietnam are very strict. Minor offenses of small stakes social gambling is a more minor violation of the law and is taken care of by a special police task force. Usually offenders of this type of gambling crime face non-custodial reform, the equivalent to U.S. Probation, and a small fine. If you are caught gambling again while on probation or non-custodial reform in Vietnam, you can find yourself in prison quite quickly. It does not take much for a gambling crimes to escalate and become serious crimes in Vietnam.

For those who gamble they can face a three-year prison sentence with a seven-year maximum for anyone who has won or lost more than 50 million Dong in gambling. The same kind of penalty applies to those who are professional gamblers in Vietnam or repeat offenders. These offenders can expect to pay a fine of 3 to 30 million Dong for their crimes.

It is for this reason that arrest of Bui Quang Duong by The Hai Phong Police is such a big deal for Vietnam. It can be expected that he will not only face a lengthy prison sentence but that his finances will be seized, and he will be recieve substantial fines for his actions.

From there, his associates may also be facing prison time and his customers, better beware, because of the strict gambling laws and records kept they could potentially be identified, fined, and possibly imprisoned as well, depending on his or her level of participation in the operation as a customer.

When it comes to gambling in Vietnam, it is a considered a serious crime with harsh penalties.