Asia has long been a subject of interest for international operators of online casinos and sports – a region full of developed economies, where 60% of the world’s population live. Add to that the lightning speed of digital development, and you have a continent of possibilities. However, strict rules and the conservative attitude of local governments make gambling a difficult task.
Asian markets attract operators with their potential, but entering the region is not easy. Most countries have strict legislation when it comes to betting and casino games, and the number of businesses that are actually allowed to exist legally is often strictly limited. And that is before we consider the cultural differences: favorite games, mentality, age groups and many other factors. However, there is a growing trend towards gradual legalization in Asia. In many countries where gambling has been banned for a long time, shadow industries have grown and gaming syndicates have emerged that offer neither protection nor financial transparency to players, nor bring anything to the state treasury.
To counter this, some countries are trying a new partial legalization approach, but so far it has focused mainly on the land market.
As well as the gambling market, and the use of cryptocurrency in Asia is closely monitored. This paragraph refers to payment systems that are becoming more and more common in these countries: some people prefer bitcoin, while others prefer unique and local payment systems, such as in India.
But, despite all sorts of limitations and difficulties, for the population of Asia gambling – a favorite form of recreation and entertainment. Let’s add faith in luck – and before you a portrait of perfect players who are not going to give up their favorite hobby. For example, in China, there is a whole industry of projects that service online casinos in the Philippines market.
Among the interesting features of the Asian gambling market can be noted:
In the UAE, gambling is almost completely banned under Islamic law, but in March 2023, Dubai will host one of the largest iGaming exhibitions SIGMA Asia. There is a hypothesis that market liberalization is possible in the UAE, but this sector will be very closely controlled;
In Turkey, the market is strictly regulated, but the law allows for betting on sports (football in the country is one of the favorite entertainment), horse racing, games of chance, lotteries, numerical games and games with instant wins. Each game is regulated by a separate body;
In Georgia, the gambling sector grew by 23% in 2020, becoming the only part of the national economy where there was no decline during the pandemic. With the rapid growth of the market, the authorities tried to impose restrictions on business, including raising the official age from which you can play to 25 years (for tourists – from 18 years). The population of the country does not intend to give up games, and the closure of land-based casinos does not repel the playing audience;
In the last 2 years Armenia has become a regional center of innovation with technically savvy population. The world of gambling has also been affected. Evidence of this – the percentage of gambling here is more than six times compared to the UK, which is one of the key centers of the gambling industry in Europe;
Kazakhstan with two special allowed zones for land based casinos has become a center of attraction for players from China and Russia, where gambling is prohibited;
In Japan, the gambling market is very limited. But nevertheless, players spend an impressive amount of foreign sports – about $40 billion each year;
In South Korea, lotteries are in great demand, and interest in them increased during the pandemic and also due to the cancellation of sports events and horse racing;
Chinese gamblers spend 1 trillion yuan ($145.5 billion) on online gambling every year, most of it in cryptocurrency. The only legal betting opportunities on the continent are the public monopolies of Welfare Lottery and Sports Lottery.