Vietnam: Is the act of selling Southern lottery tickets in the Central region illegal?

Recently, in Ninh Thuan, there was an administrative penalty and confiscation of lottery tickets of a street lottery seller because it was believed that this person was selling lottery tickets in the wrong region. This incident caused a lot of controversy from a large number of people in the Ninh Thuan area. The question is: "This person sells real lottery tickets, issued by the State, why is it a violation?"

Lottery tickets, also known as lotteries, are a type of commodity that is quite popular in the market and the business and sale of lottery tickets is not free or arbitrary but must comply with a number of legal regulations.

Circular No. 75/2013/TT-BTC of the Ministry of Vietnam provides quite specific regulations on dividing lottery ticket issuance areas into 3 regions: North, Central and South. To be specific:

- For the North region: Conventional lottery is issued under the linkage mechanism in issuance. Lottery tickets are consumed in the scope of administrative boundaries of each central-affiliated city or province of each lottery company. Handwork bingo lottery, scratching lottery for instant result, tearing lottery for instant result are issued and consumed in the scope of administrative boundaries of each central-affiliated city or province of each lottery company.

- For the Central and South regions: Conventional lottery, scratching lottery for instant result, tearing lottery for instant result are issued under the general market mechanism. The Ministry of Finance shall provide schedules for the draw for prizes of lottery companies. Handwork bingo lottery are issued and consumed in the scope of administrative boundaries of each central-affiliated city or province of each lottery company.

According to Circular No. 75/2013/TT-BTC, “the sharing market mechanism” means mechanism on issuing lottery tickets under the method in which each lottery company in a same region may issue the lottery tickets and sell on whole region according schedule of the draw for prizes already been provided by the Ministry of Finance.

From the above regulations, it can be concluded that: Lottery issued in any region will be sold and consumed in that region. Thus, selling Southern lottery tickets in the Central region is a violation and against regulations.

Vé số miền Nam bán ở miền Trung có sai phạm không?

The act of trading and consuming lotteries outside the locality or region may be subject to administrative sanctions according to the provisions of Article 38 of Decree No. 98/2013/NĐ-CP of Vietnam’s Government, specifically as follows:

“1. A fine of from 10,000,000 VND to 20,000,000 VND shall be imposed for selling lottery tickets beyond the permissible localities.

2. Additional penalties:

Confiscating the lottery tickets sold outside the permissible localities.

3. Remedial measures:

a) Compulsory sale of lottery tickets within the permissible localities, applicable to the violations in this Article;

b) Compulsory return of illegal profit earned from the violations in this Article.”

Are the prohibition and penalty regulations feasible and practical when applied in practice? Anyone who violates will be punished, so will people who sell lottery tickets also be punished? Selling lottery tickets is a daily living for some people, including the elderly and children, who sell anywhere, go anywhere as long as it's easy to sell and easy to make money; among lottery ticket sellers, few people know the regulations for selling lottery tickets by region or area.

Currently, the law does not have any specific regulations to punish street lottery ticket sellers if there are violations, and it also does not specify whether the specific subjects to be fined are agents, business enterprises or the vendors themselves.

Thus, it is necessary to introduce stricter regulations in lottery business activities by region and a form of handling the right subjects, fair and reasonable.

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