HA NOI — Match betting during the Euro 2012 tournament has proved a big headache to authorities and is currently being addressed by the Ministry of Public Security, according to the General Anti-Crime Police Department.
"We have banned up to 181 betting website addresses and 195 IP addresses across the country during the event," said Nguyen Thanh Hoa, director of the Police Department's Hi-Tech Criminal Unit.
The achievement is the result of co-operation between the Ministry of Information and Communications and Internet service providers, Hoa added.
"However, about 30 new betting websites open every day. It is hard to manage all of them at the same time. If banned, bookmakers will create new sites and IP addresses while simultaneously issuing access guidelines."
In other words, online betting remains out of control and popular due to the ease and convenience of online services.
Nguyen Ngoc Quan, a young amateur punter, said, "Online betting is safe and easy. Anonymity is guaranteed. All you need is an account to which you can transfer up to US$100. If you win, a bookmaker will transfer your winnings back to you."
Betting has become increasingly problematic, involving not only professionals, but also amateurs such as officers, workers and even students.
Punters usually pawn valuables such as houses, luxurious cars and motorbikes, expensive phones and laptops, amongst others, to bet on Euro matches, the department said.
Hanoian Vu Ngoc Tuan, 48, said, "My son pawned a luxurious new Honda SH to bet on Euro games."
In other words, similar to Tuan's family, many are experiencing great sadness during the event. Match betting is not only causing poverty, but also increasing divorce and damaging social security.
Three men were recently arrested for allegedly hosting betting activities in the capital's Hai Ba Trung District, according to the district police.
According to Lieutenant General Phan Van Vinh, general director of the General Anti-Crime Police Department, the ministry of Public Security will continue to co-operate in detecting and arresting betting criminals. — VNS