The Growth of The Asian Online Betting Industry

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The Growth of The Asian Online Betting Industry

Asia happens to be a topic of interest for gambling operators and other keynote industry players. This region which boasts most of the developed economies is home to about 60% of the world’s population. Additionally, the region has been witnessing a lightning-fast-paced 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 has been attracting operators with its untapped potential, but the restrictive gambling regulations adopted by some of the states make it difficult for foreign and domestic operators to launch business.

That notwithstanding, there has been a growing trend towards legalization and an upsurge of online gambling sites in the region. If you are looking for a reputable online casino in the region, you can discover casino online Asia here.

The Hong Kong Market

We all understand that Hong Kong is a special administrative jurisdiction of conservative China that enjoys a great degree of autonomy. While gambling is legal in the region, it’s strictly regulated and all forms of betting remain a monopoly of the Hong Kong Jockey Club.

Casino gambling is restricted to a handful of sanctioned cruise ships, but these ships are only allowed to run operations outside the island’s territorial waters. Online casino operations are not allowed in Hong Kong, and the government has a track record of taking strict actions against black market operators.

Indian Market

Being a federation, the Indian betting market is dependent on individual state regulations. Gambling has long been legal in states such as Goa, Daman and Diu, and Sikkim. In Goa, land-based gambling is reserved for offshore ship operators who must seek prior approval from the local government.

Land-based horse racing and sports betting are not permitted at the federal level. Poker betting is legal in India because it is considered a game of skill.

Online betting remains unregulated in India at the federal level, but a handful of states have begun taking interest in the market. As of 2021, Nagaland and Sikkim had begun issuing gambling licenses to online sportsbooks 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 the federal legalization of all forms of regulated gambling. The offer is still on the table.

The Online Gambling Market in the Philippines

The Philippines market has a quite interesting regulatory regime with two regulatory authorities overseeing gambling operations. The Cagayan Economic Zone Authority (CEZA) and the Philippines Amusement and Gaming Corporation (PAGCOR) are the two agencies tasked with manning the Philippines betting market.

On the one hand, the PAGCOR is mandated with issuing licenses to betting shops, bingo houses cardrooms, and land-based casinos. On the other hand, the CEZA issues licenses to online betting operators, which are otherwise not allowed to render services in the country.

It is not illegal for foreign gambling operators to offer iGaming to Filipino residents because there lack statutory provisions expressly prohibiting such an operation. The confusion comes in when the PAGCOR issues Philippine Offshore Gaming Operators (POGOs), which are a viable alternative to CEZA licenses.

Either way, online betting is a thriving industry in the Philippines, attracting operators and players from around 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 began changing in 2018 after the country legalized casinos as integrated resorts.

Later in 2021, the Japan Casino Regulatory Commission published regulations aimed at enforcing the newly enacted Specified Integrated Resort Area Development Law. These regulations provide the criteria and rules for establishing land-based casinos.

While the Japanese gambling market is promising for land-based operators, it is too early to determine whether the newly created legal land-based casino market will pave way for online gambling operations. Players and operators are in celebration for the ice has broken.

The integrated resorts system was first implemented in Singapore, which then gradually transitioned into 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 allowed in this jurisdiction, but land-based gambling establishments are open to foreign nationals.

Besides land-based casinos, lotteries, bullfighting, and horse racing betting are all permitted. In South Korea, there is no ambiguity, grey areas, or in between the lines when it comes to the gambling legal framework. If something is not expressly permitted, it is regarded as illegal.

Illegal betting in South Korea is punishable by fines and imprisonment. Any gambling website that attempts to target South Korean residents gets blacklisted and its bank transactions swiftly blocked.

Online Betting in Singapore

For years, gambling in Singapore was reserved for publicly owned operators such as lotteries and Turf Clubs for sports and horse racing betting. Private gambling operations were limited until 2005 when the government lifted its ban on private casinos, allowing integrated casino resorts.

This pioneer form of casino gambling required an entry fee of SGD 150 to mitigate problem gambling. Online gambling is prohibited, with the exception of two public operators; the Singapore Sports Council and the National Heritage Board.

The country has harsh penalties for black-market gambling players and operators, with fines of SGD 5,000 and SGD 500,000, respectively. Jail terms are six months for players and seven years for operators. Singapore’s Ministry of Home Affairs established a Gambling Regulatory Authority in 2021 to enforce stringent oversight of the market.

Online Betting in Vietnam

Vietnam has strict gambling regulations, but the situation is getting bearing in mind that 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 aimed at allowing locals to participate in land-based casinos


The Asian online industry is doing fairly well, considering its anti-gambling history. While most countries are yet to welcome online betting operators with open arms, it is evident that the market is getting more friendly and receptive to the idea of online betting.