The Vietnam’s Ministry of Information and Communications (“MIC”) recently held a meeting on payment methods in online gaming to discuss the current legal landscape and compliance situation in Vietnam.

Here is a quick update regarding the gaming regulation and enforcement trend.

1.         More aggressive actions against unlicensed mobile gaming apps

By and large, the gaming industry would likely expect more aggressive enforcement actions from the MIC and relevant authorities.

Below are the key takeaways from the MIC’s approach:

  • While local game publishers are regulated by laws, many cross-border ones fail to comply with local requirements, notably not using registered payment gateways, leading to a huge loss in tax collection.
  • For in-app purchases, the platforms will be required to provide information concerning the purchases, and may be ordered to suspend the transactions concerning unlicensed game publishers.
  • The MIC will request (i) the State Bank of Vietnam to take measures to stop payment intermediaries to allow unlicensed game publishers to make transactions, and (ii) the platforms to stop working with payment intermediaries that continue to work with unlicensed game publishers.
  • The MIC will communicate to local payment intermediaries on a monthly basis, and order them not to work with unlicensed game publishers.
  • The MIC will cooperate with the Ministry of Public Security and relevant authorities to handle violations concerning payment, promotions, gambling games, etc.
  • Unlicensed payment intermediaries and game publishers may be imposed with a website/Internet access blocking order from the MIC.

2.         Special consumption tax to be imposed on game service providers

The Vietnam’s Ministry of Finance (“MOF”) recently made public a draft law amending the Law on Special Consumption Tax, in which they propose online gaming services will be subject to special consumption tax. The MOF is collecting comments from relevant authorities, agencies, and stakeholders to finalize a draft law amending the Law on Special Consumption Tax which will, once coming to life, impact on the gaming industry.


Manh-Hung Tran is the practice group leader of the Intellectual Property (IP) and Technology Practice Groups of Vietnam offices. For years, he has been constantly ranked as a leading IP lawyer by numerous researchers such as Chambers Global and Chambers Asia. He regularly writes articles concerning pressing legal issues in both English and Vietnamese, and his works have been published regularly in various reputable publications. He has assisted the government in reviewing and revising the IP Law, the IP provisions under the country’s criminal code, the draft e-Transaction Law, and the first draft Personal Data Protection Decree, etc. While Hung's practices run the full gamut of IP work, he also specializes in the Telecommunications, Media, and Technology (TMT) practice, advising multinational corporations on data privacy, monetization, product reviews, AdTech, regulatory and user rights, cybersecurity, e-commerce, offshore social media, digital services, data breach and incidents, and other emerging technologies. He has been assisting international film studios and streaming clients with various film and TV series productions in Vietnam.