Rising Popularity Of Online Casinos In The Asia Pacific Region

Rising Popularity Of Online Casinos In The Asia Pacific Region ( Click to Enlarge )

Gambling is a really big deal in the Asia Pacific region (APAC) and worth several billion dollars. Indeed it has been noted that higher gambling revenues are generated in the APAC region than on the Las Vegas strip. Macau has always been the important casino destination in China, however, when its 2006 revenues surpassed those of Las Vegas many neighbouring countries started to sit up and take notice.

This led to greater acceptance of casino gambling and legalisation of casinos in places like Japan and the Philippines. All of this then fed into an interest in the online gambling sector.

Many consumers based in India have been active participants within the online gambling sector since the island of Antigua and Barbuda first launched free trading regulations and sites around 1994. Gambling is illegal in India, however, online gambling is not really regulated and there have been lots of illegal online gambling sites around for many years now.

Online Gambling In The APAC Region

At this moment in time, Asia is the largest of all the world’s gambling markets and this has fed into growth in the online gambling sector. Online gambling revenue is expected to grow by 11% in the period to 2022 and it’s anticipated that around 44% of this growth will originate within APAC.

Use of mobile devices and internet technologies is highly popular throughout the region and this is likely to fuel the growth of legal and illegal online gambling sites. Bitcoin is also commonly used within APAC and many online sites reflect this by using bitcoin as the gambling currency of preference.

Specifics In Different APAC countries

In China most forms of gambling and betting are illegal, these include mah-jong, sports betting, casino slots and table games. This means most Chinese turn to international sites for their online gambling activities, combined with trips to Macau where they can legally gamble in bricks and mortar casinos.

There are no licences issued for online gambling in Macau, which means that the sector is unregulated and commonly regarded as legal. This makes it a popular destination for gamblers from China, Taiwan and Hong Kong.

At present Singapore has blocked most of the international gambling websites and states that gambling online is a criminal offence. None of the main gambling providers are allowed to advertise their services in the country and online non-profits based in the country are the only ones that can offer online gambling.

Japan And Indonesia

In Japan online gambling is also forbidden, however, the playing at international sites is extremely popular and the Japanese government are having difficulties managing this.

Indonesia is predominantly Muslim, so gambling is prohibited by law. That said, online gambling and betting are becoming increasingly popular with typical Indonesian consumers as there is very little legislation in place to prevent them from accessing international sites.

In India gambling is only legal on horse racing or lotteries, however, there is no legislation in place to prevent online gambling. The state of Sikkim is currently the only area to have introduced the issue of licences for online gambling operators, however, there is a growing demand for greater access to legal gambling sites right across India.

As can be seen, the popularity of gambling online is highly likely to fuel greater revenues from consumers based in the APAC region. And this will be the case even if gambling is not currently legal within any member country.