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.