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How Big is the Online Casino Industry in Asia?

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Gambling or Online Casino is big business worldwide, and their popularity extends across all of Asia, irrespective of whether it is officially endorsed by the authorities in a given region.

This fact has been further compounded by the rise of online casinos, with the web-based incarnation of this industry attracting huge numbers of players spending vast sums each year.

So just how big is Asia’s online casino market, what aspects are holding it back right now, and what are its prospects for the future?

The problem of prohibition

First and foremost, it’s worth noting that while there are a multitude of super popular Asian casino games and websites that host them, in many parts of this continent it is either implicitly or explicitly illegal to gamble online, let alone run a digital casino business.

Outright bans on gambling are present in places like China, South Korea and Japan. This applies not just to online services, but also to land-based casinos.

There are exceptions, often in the form of state-backed lotteries, like those operated in China, for example. This follows a pattern seen in all corners of the world; gambling remains heavily restricted unless it is controlled and confined to publicly owned organizations.

This creates a tricky issue when it comes to measuring the size of the online casino industry in Asia since while the majority of the continent’s population are theoretically prevented from playing by law, there are lots of ways around this.

Chiefly, the use of overseas casino sites, in combination with VPNs that allow players to disguise their location, means that many millions of Asians are able to enjoy online casinos irrespective of the legality of doing so.

The exacerbating issues

Another point to make about Asia’s online casino market is that even in places where gambling is legal, there is resistance to the rise of web-based equivalents of bricks and mortar experiences.

Macau is an excellent example of this. It is a special administrative region that has some of the world’s largest and most opulent casino resorts, rivalling Las Vegas in terms of its scope. However, while you can legally play at any number of physical casinos, online gambling remains illegal within its borders.

This echoes the circumstances experienced in a number of US states, including California. There is momentum behind the calls for online gambling to be legalized, but resistance comes from the casino operators themselves. Land-based brands fear losing out to online counterparts if legalization went ahead.

The solution is sure to follow suit with states in which legal online gambling is already available, such as New Jersey. Here, all online casinos are legally required to be owned and operated by casino businesses with a bricks and mortar presence within the state.

This not only appeases owners and shareholders but also creates jobs and bolsters the local economy significantly.

If a similar approach was taken in the parts of Asia where gambling is either entirely against the law, or online casinos, in particular, are banned, then perhaps there would be more support for it.

The potential for the future

We have already hinted at how the online casino industry in Asia might break free from its current restrictions and make waves as a legitimate form of business with huge potential to inject cash into all sorts of economies, especially in developing nations.

India presents an interesting example of how things might look in more parts of the continent in years to come. The federal government does not dictate how individual states within the nation choose to regulate gambling, and so as well as land-based casinos cropping up in places like Goa, there are also legal, licensed online casinos in a handful of states, such as Sikkim.

The Philippines is another intriguing example of how the online gambling industry might thrive, even without the domestic support of the authorities. Overseas operators can provide services to residents, even if they cannot set up shop physically within the nation’s borders.

It is this leveraging of legal grey areas which are likely to enable rapid growth of this industry globally in the coming years.

Ultimately it makes sense to legalize online gambling across Asia because it helps to generate tax revenues which at the moment are ending up in the pockets of other nations where operators are licensed and encouraged.

Prohibition clearly does not prevent people from finding ways to play, and so the future looks bright for a softening of restrictions.

Salman Ahmad is a seasoned writer for CTN News, bringing a wealth of experience and expertise to the platform. With a knack for concise yet impactful storytelling, he crafts articles that captivate readers and provide valuable insights. Ahmad's writing style strikes a balance between casual and professional, making complex topics accessible without compromising depth.

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