Asia happens to be a hot topic for gambling operators and other key players in the industry. This region which is home to most of the developed economies is home to around 60% of the world’s population. Additionally, the region has witnessed a meteoric adoption of digital technologies.
While Asia is a continent full of opportunities for the online gambling sectors, most of its conservative governments create a challenge for operators interested in venturing into the highly profitable market.
The Asian market attracts operators with its untapped potential, but the restrictive gambling regulations adopted by some states make it difficult for foreign and domestic operators to launch their businesses.
Despite this, there has been a growing trend towards legalization and an upsurge in online gambling sites in the region. If you are looking for a reputable online casino in the region, you can check out Asia Online Casino here.
The Hong Kong market
We all understand that Hong Kong is a special administrative jurisdiction of conservative China with a high degree of autonomy. Although gambling is legal in the region, it is strictly regulated and all forms of betting remain the monopoly of the Hong Kong Jockey Club.
Casino games are restricted to a handful of licensed cruise ships, but these ships are only permitted to operate outside of the island’s territorial waters. Online casino operations are not permitted in Hong Kong, and the government has a reputation for cracking down on black market operators.
As a federation, the Indian betting market depends on individual national regulations. Gambling has long been legal in states such as Goa, Daman and Diu, and Sikkim. In Goa, land-based gambling is restricted to offshore vessel operators who must obtain prior approval from the local government.
Land horse racing and sports betting are not permitted at the federal level. Poker betting is legal in India as it is considered a game of skill.
Online betting remains unregulated in India at the federal level, but a handful of states have started to take an interest in the market. As of 2021, Nagaland and Sikkim had started issuing gambling licenses to online sports betting and casino operators. Tamil Nadu and Andhra Pradesh have completely banned online betting.
In 2018, the Law Commission of India prepared and submitted a recommendation to the federal government suggesting federal legalization of all forms of regulated gambling. The offer is still on the table.
The Online Gambling Market in the Philippines
The Philippine market has quite an interesting regulatory regime with two regulatory authorities overseeing gaming operations. The Cagayan Economic Zone Authority (CEZA) and the Philippines Amusement and Gaming Corporation (PAGCOR) are the two agencies responsible for managing the betting market in the Philippines .
On the one hand, PAGCOR is mandated to issue licenses to betting houses, card rooms of bingo houses and land-based casinos. On the other hand, CEZA issues licenses to online betting operators, which are otherwise not allowed to provide services in the country.
It is not illegal for foreign gaming operators to offer iGaming to Filipino residents as there are no legal provisions expressly prohibiting such operation. The confusion arises when PAGCOR issues Philippine Offshore Gambling Operators (POGO), which are a viable alternative to CEZA licenses.
Either way, online betting is a thriving industry in the Philippines, attracting operators and players from all over the world.
The Japanese market
Historically, gambling in Japan has been illegal for decades, with a few exceptions such as public lotteries and pachinko houses. However, things started to change in 2018 after the country legalized casinos as integrated resorts.
Later in 2021, the Casino Regulatory Commission of Japan issued regulations to implement the new law on the development of specified integrated resort areas. These regulations set out the criteria and rules for establishing land-based casinos.
While the Japanese gambling market holds promise for land-based operators, it is too early to determine whether the new legal land-based casino market will pave the way for online gambling operations. Players and operators are celebrating because the ice has broken.
The integrated resort system was first implemented in Singapore, which then gradually transitioned to a regulated gambling market. We expect the same to happen in Japan.
South Korean market
The South Korean gambling market is subject to strict regulations. Online gambling is not permitted in this jurisdiction, but land-based gambling establishments are open to foreign nationals.
Besides land-based casinos, lotteries, bullfights and betting on horse races are all permitted. In South Korea, there is no ambiguity, gray areas or between the lines when it comes to the legal framework for gambling. If something is not expressly permitted, it is considered illegal.
Illegal betting in South Korea is punishable by fines and imprisonment. Any gambling website that attempts to target South Korean residents is blacklisted and its banking transactions quickly blocked.
Online betting in Singapore
For years, gambling in Singapore was reserved for public operators such as lotteries and Turf Clubs for sports and horse betting. Private gambling operations were restricted until 2005, when the government lifted its ban on private casinos, allowing integrated casino resorts.
This pioneering form of casino gambling required an entry fee of SGD 150 to alleviate problem gambling. Online gambling is prohibited, with the exception of two public operators; the Singapore Sports Council and the National Heritage Board.
The country imposes stiff penalties on black market gambling players and operators, with fines of SGD5,000 and SGD500,000, respectively. Prison terms are six months for players and seven years for operators. Singapore’s Home Office created a gaming regulator in 2021 to enforce strict market oversight.
Online betting in Vietnam
Vietnam has strict gambling regulations, but it’s starting to look like all forms of gambling were illegal for decades. The tide turned in 2018 when the country legalized betting on horse racing, football and greyhound racing.
The market has also seen the launch of casinos open to foreign nationals. The government is currently working on a pilot program to allow locals to participate in land-based casinos
The Asian online industry is doing quite well, given its anti-gambling history. While most countries have yet to welcome online betting operators with open arms, it is evident that the market is becoming more friendly and receptive to the idea of online betting.