Years-long gambling expansion debate, yields surprising result.

In a surprising development, the Vietnamese Government has seemingly softened its anti-gambling stance with reports of a decree released on the Government website legalizing betting on horseracing, greyhound racing and, on a pilot basis, Fifa-Recognized and Vietnam sports ministry-approved, International football, effective end March 2017.

The implementation of a formal licensing regime will see potential operators required to meet stringent capital requirements, VnExpress reports, set for horse racing and football operators at VND1 trillion (approx. $44.2 million) and greyhound betting operators at VND 300 billion (approx. $13.2 million).

A public tender will reportedly select a single football betting operator for a five-year pilot phase.

According to VnExpress, two new, state-of-the-art horse race tracks will be opened in the southern province of Binh Duong in April, and another $500 million project at a later date in Hanoi. readers will recall, the government opened the doors to local residents over 21-years-old and earning at least VND10 million ($445) per month to roll the dice at local casinos from mid-March 2017, in a 3-year pilot project.  Historically, only foreign visitors were permitted to wager in local casinos.