Vietnam fines companies sending gambling spam

Vietnam is after your junk folders. No, really.

 The government has launched a major crackdown on companies that sent spam messages promoting gambling. Local news outlet Viet Nam News reported that six companies have already been fined a total of VND535 million ($23,732) since the beginning of August.

Of these six, three companies—BiBo Communication Limited Company, Viet Nam Telecommunications and Digital Entertainment Joint-stock Company, and NetViet Technology and Services Joint-stock Company—were fined VND 120 million ($5,323) each.

Officials of the Ministry of Information and Communications’ inspectorate agency said the three companies were charged with sending spam messages, not providing information on fees or how to cancel services, and providing gambling services, according to the report.

The fourth company—An Hung Phat Investment Joint-stock Company—was fined VND85 million ($3,770) because it provided gambling services in addition to sending spam messages.

The remaining companies, NETIT Joint-stock Company and HRT Viet Nam Communication Joint-stock Company, were fined VND45 million ($1,996) each on charges of sending spam messages, officials said.

Viet Nam News quoted Ministry of Information and Communications Chief Inspector Dang Anh Tuan, who said the agency will continue its crackdown on spam messages until the end of the year.

The Asian country has outlawed the “social evil” of gambling in 1948, and is now considering a proposal that would increase the severity of punishments on gambling activities. Under the current Penal Code, gamblers caught wagering stakes over VND2 million ($88) will face jail time from a minimum of three months.

But there are some lawmakers who pushing to decriminalize gambling in the country. During a discussion on amendments to the Penal Code, several lawmakers wants the government to stop considering the activity as a crime.

Pham Xuan Thong, who represents the northern province of Thai Bihn, said it would be better to “organize gambling activities in a more sensible and manageable way.”

Thai Thien News also quoted Do Van Duong, from Ho Chi Minh City, who said, “We should not worry that gambling will lead to crimes, but think about how to manage gambling activities.”

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