Gambling and Globalization in Old Saigon: A Brief History of Số Đề in Vietnam

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Please see my article in the Saigoneer on the longer history of globalization in Vietnamese and Saigonese life. It does this by examining the meaning and origin of ‘số đề’ [playing the numbers] a form of gambling in today’s Vietnam. This game can be traced back to the ‘Jeu des 36 bêtes’ in the colonial era, and even further back to the Chinese lottery huahui, which arrived in Vietnam sometime before 1800. The game also sheds light on social, cultural, and ethnic identity in Vietnamese society.