The Rising Trend of Online Gaming in Asia

The online gambling industry in Asia is flourishing at an incredible rate, with the number of players and the money being invested in it increasing day by day. The iGaming sector in Asia has seen a steady increase in sales revenues over the last few years, and this trend is evident in almost all the major countries across the continent.

In connection with that, we will go in-depth into the subject of online gambling in Asia, what are the most popular forms of gambling online, and get to know the current situation of some of the Asian countries.

What Online Gambling Trends Are Dominating Asia?

One of the online gambling categories all over Asia is through online casinos, sports betting, and online lottery.

The majority of these games are popular, especially in the online gambling industry of Asia, and are estimated to reach a total of US$5.71 billion by 2024 (all figures in this article are from Statista.com).

Given that, let us look at the three gambling forms and their popularity in Asia.

Online Casino

Online casinos in Asia offer a wide range of options for all types of players. Whether you prefer traditional video slots, table games like card or dice games, or live casino games, there’s something for everyone.

Over the years, video slots have been the most popular online casino game, but live casino games are rapidly gaining popularity. Their interactive nature, allowing players to chat with each other, makes them an exciting choice.

While sports betting remains the most profitable, online casinos are becoming increasingly popular in Asia. The market is expected to reach US$1.41 billion by 2024, with a healthy growth rate of 5.12%. This promising outlook reflects the overall growth of the online gambling market in the region.

Sports Betting

Above all, sports betting is still the most popular type of online gambling in Asia, even if online casino games come a little closer, as we mentioned earlier.

On top of that, the revenue generated from online sports betting in Asia is expected to skyrocket to US$3.64bn by 2024, making it the highest-valued market, which is significantly higher than online casino revenue.

Certainly, the online sports betting market in Asia is also developing each year, with an approximate growth rate of 5.95% and a predicted market volume of US$4.86bn by 2029.

Online Lottery

The last type of online gambling that has a big presence in Asia is online lottery. Online lottery is very popular on the continent because it allows players to buy tickets for the biggest lotteries in the world without having to be physically present in the country in which the lottery takes place.

That being said, with the annual online lottery market in Asia projected to reach US$0.65bn in 2024, it is clear that this type of online gambling is well behind sports betting and online casino games.

A Look at Asia’s Thriving Markets

After running a detailed comparison between various online gambling genres in Asia and discussing their performance, we are now ready to delve deeper into a few key online gambling markets in Asia.

Japan

Online gambling in Japan is technically illegal, with a few exceptions. However, this law mainly affects companies based in Japan. This leaves room for overseas bookmakers and online casinos to operate within a grey area. These international platforms face no significant legal obstacles and operate freely, contributing to the booming market.

The country’s online gambling market, including the popular online casino (commonly known as オンラインカジノ in Japan), has seen substantial growth in recent years. Players can easily access a variety of games, from video slots and table games to live casino experiences.

In 2024, Japan’s online gambling market is projected to approach $6.19 billion. This impressive growth reflects the increasing popularity and acceptance of online gambling among Japanese players, who enjoy the convenience and variety offered by these international platforms. Thus, the future of online gambling in Japan looks promising.

India

According to the Public Gambling Act of 1867, gambling is generally not allowed in India. However, individual states are allowed to decide themselves whether to legalize it and some have chosen to do so.

Surprisingly, the Public Gambling Act doesn’t mention online gambling, which makes the operation of foreign-based online casinos in India legal. The result of this is a significant increase in online gambling activities.

The projected revenue of India’s online gambling market is expected to rise to US$2.90 billion, with sports betting dominating the list. However, online casinos in India are also growing steadily, offering a wide range of thrilling experiences, from video slots to live dealer games.

The convenience and variety of online casinos in India continue to drive their popularity, promising a bright future for the industry.

Thailand

In Thailand, gambling is not allowed except for government lotteries and horse racing. Moreover, online gambling is also forbidden, but the statutes mainly refer to casinos rather than players.

Many Thai players use offshore gambling websites, which pose a low risk for the player. The only danger they face is becoming a victim of potential scams and playing without being protected as a player.

Despite experiencing several difficulties, the online gaming market in Thailand continues to grow and develop. It could be up to US$546.20 million in 2024, which is a significant rise caused by the increased interest in online gambling among the Thais.

Philippines

Gambling in the Philippines is legal as long as it is licensed properly and regulated. The Philippines is equipped with the government entity PAGCOR which is entrusted with the task of regulating the gambling industry in the country, and it even owns multiple casinos.

When it comes to online gambling, the Philippines-based casinos and sportsbooks cannot offer their services to Philippine residents who want to gamble online. However, Filipino players can lawfully gamble at an offshore casino.

In reality, the Philippines is not among the largest markets in online gambling, but it is continuously on the rise because of several innovative projects and new markets. The online gambling market in the Philippines is indeed a profitable venture with an anticipated revenue of US$680.00m.

Vietnam

Vietnam has a local gambling ban that is effectively applied and strictly enforced. Although there are a few casinos in some of the main tourist attractions of the country, these casinos can only accept foreign players with their passports.

The situation with online gambling is pretty similar, even international online casinos are not exempt from the law, like we’ve seen in other countries. Nevertheless, Vietnamese often find a workaround for the limitation by using a VPN to gamble online, but this entails a danger.

Singapore

Similarly to Vietnam, Singapore is a country known for imposing strict laws on gambling. Previously there were no gambling laws in place at all and the situation was different. But in 2014 Singapore started introducing a couple of new laws including the Remote Gambling Act 2014. Of course, players from Singapore can use a VPN to gamble online at offshore casinos, but they risk penalties by doing so.

Final Thoughts

Although the law is not friendly, it still seems like Asia’s online gambling market is booming. For instance, many countries allow their citizens to play in foreign casinos, even if gambling is banned in their home country. This has contributed to the remarkable expansion of the online sports betting and gambling industry in Asia in recent years.

This situation will most likely continue and some countries will likely accept online gambling as a reality and change their laws, which could truly create an additional boom to the industry’s growth.

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