What is illegal gambling?

What is illegal gambling?
Posted date: 22/07/2020

Due to the complicated development of the Epidemic Covid-19, students had to leave school for a long time. For entertaining, a group of students in my hometown often gathered to talk and played card game lost or won in medical mask. I would like to know if it is illegal to gamble in this way?

FDVN’s opinions:

Thank you for concerning FDVN legal services. Base on your consulting requirements, after studying the legal documents, FDVN Law Firm offers the following advice:

Tien Len is a way of playing cards from the Western to Vietnam, played by two to four people. The player uses a deck of cards to play this game and it is similar to the way of playing the President of the West. It is also known as a poker card. Playing Tien Len is one of the gambling forms. Depending on the nature, severity and behavior of the player, we can determine whether the gambling act is illegal.

According to Clause 2, Article 26 Decree 167/2013/ND-CP on sanction of administrative violation in social security, order and safety, prevention and fighting of social evils, fire and domestic violence;

“Article 26. Illegal gambling

2. A fine of between VND 1,000,000 and 2,000,000 shall be imposed for one of the acts of gambling as follows:

a) Illegally gambling with one of the forms such as xoc dia, ta la, to tom, tu lo kho, tam cuc, 3 cay, tu sac or other forms which are lost or won in cash or in kind;

b) Gambling with machine or illegal electronic games;

c) Betting in cash or in other forms in sports competition, entertainment or other activities;

d) Selling illegal lottery sheet or printed matters used for playing illegal lottery;”

Whereby, the acts of gambling with one of the forms such as xoc dia, ta la, to tom, tu lo kho, tam cuc, 3 cay, tu sac,… which are lost or won in cash or in kind can be fined from 1,000,000 VND to 2,000,000 VND. In this case, medical masks are considered a kind exchangeable for money. Thus, the act of gambling lost or won in the medical mask is a law violation, subject to an administrative fine of from VND 1,000,000 to VND 2,000,000.

This behavior may be prosecuted for criminal liability, according to Article 321 of Criminal Code 2015, amended and supplemented in 2017:

“Article 321. Illegal gambling

1. A person who illegally gambles in any shape or form with the stakes (in cash or kind) assessed at from VND 5,000,000 to under VND 50,000,000, or under VND 5,000,000 despite the fact that he/she has incurred an administrative penalty for the same offence or any of the offences specified in Article 322 hereof or has an unspent conviction for the same offence or any of the offences specified in Article 322 hereof shall be liable to a fine of from VND 20,000,000 to VND 100,000,000, face a penalty of up to 03 year’s community sentence or 06 – 36 months’ imprisonment.

2. This offence committed in any of the following circumstances carries a penalty of 03 – 07 years’ imprisonment:

a) The offence is committed in a professional manner;

b) The stake is assessed at VND ≥ 50,000,000;

c) The offence is committed using the Internet, a computer network, telecommunications network or electronic device;

d) Dangerous recidivism.

3. The offender might also be liable to a fine of from VND 10,000,000 to VND 50,000,000.”

Gambling lost or won in cash or in kind in any form is a violation of the law. Therefore, the acts of gambling whose value is VND 5,000,000 or more will be administratively sanctioned under Article 26 Decree No. 167/2013/ND-CP or prosecuted for criminal liability according to Criminal Code.

Above is FDVN Law Firm's opinion for your request of the consultant based on studying the relevant legal provisions. Hopefully, FDVN's advice would be helpful to you.

Legal expert: Nguyen Thi Thanh Thanh Tra

FDVN Law Firm


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