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Vietnamese-American Walks Free After Online Gambling Conviction

Written by:
Jagajeet Chiba
Published on:
Jan/15/2009

Having spent 6 months in a Vietnam prison, a Vietnamese-American was allowed to walk free this week. 

Timmy Hua Quan (also known as Timmy Quan) was charged with illegal online gambling.

A Vietnamese court jailed or handed suspended prison terms to 24 people for gambling, including three Malaysians who were tried in absentia, the China Post reported. The group was charged with involvement in a gambling ring operating at casinos in the city's luxury hotels.

The Supreme People's Procuracy's indictment stated that on the night May 26 2007, the Police raided gambling clubs at luxury hotels in the city, including OV at Equatorial Hotel, De Palace at Food Center Restaurant and Victoria at Duxton Hotel.

While it is said that "everyone in Vietnam gambles", All forms of gambling are illegal in Vietnam, except in a small number of carefully vetted licensed premises.

"Everyone gambles here," Vu Ngoc Bonglai, a student in Hanoi, once told the BBC.  "Sometimes it's just because we've got nothing else to do. But we only bet with small amounts."

"It's especially a problem [around Lunar New Year] because many young people get money from their families and use it to gamble on the streets," he said.

But the laws do get complicated when examining the hotels in question.

According to Vietnamese law, any hotels above four-stars can run casinos, but only foreigners are allowed to gamble.  Local people can not.

To date, The prosecutors have indicted six with organizing gambling and 18 others with gambling.  Arrest warrants were issued for the three men in absentia. 

Jagajeet Chiba, Gambling911.com 

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