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Virtual Casino Games in Asia: Situation in Different Regions

In the global web gambling sector and the Asian sector in particular, there are such trends as the evolution of the Internet and the widespread use of mobile devices. These changes involve technological improvements that are needed to meet growing demand.

Large-scale amendments in the amusement field also affect the normative scope since each country has to accept the already established state of affairs and create appropriate rules for it.

Online casino games in Asia

As the iGaming market continues to confidently develop under the influence of new technologies and the expansion of the Web, turn your attention to one of the fastest-growing regions.

Rosloto experts will tell you about significant differences between Oriental markets. We also offer ready-made iGaming platforms for a quick start in the industry.

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Virtual Casino Niche in Asia: Brief Review of the Latest Trends

Let us observe the core distinctive features of running an entertainment start-up in different destinations.

China

This sector is represented by a wide range of sportsbook options, lotteries, and various slots. It is forbidden to play some of them on unauthorised platforms. Besides, the Chinese Sports Lottery has monopolised all types of wagering on different competitions in the country’s mainland.

However, the activities of business owners, promoters, agents, and providers of tourist amusement services are monitored by the authorities. Although digital entertainment for money (RMGs) is very popular in the country, it is illegal. So, players choose internationally certified resources due to various sports games, live betting options, and casinos with real dealers.

Local high rollers prefer to go to Macau for a day or two since, in its territory, most offline and virtual solutions are permitted.

Taiwan

Casino games here are strictly regulated, so the only legal sportsbook service is the Taiwan Sports Lottery.

Since the chances of winning are low, bettors prefer platforms that offer mahjong, baccarat, slot machines, Chinese chess, wagering options, and live solutions. In these spheres, possibilities are much wider.

Like residents of neighbouring countries, Taiwanese citizens usually choose sites that support their language. Although it is not easy for them to carry out money transactions on the Internet, they can find the best way to replenish their accounts. For example, it can be done via EntroPay or Skrill.

Those who wish to play safely participate in the Taiwan Sports Lottery. To have a better chance of winning and diversify the range of services used, gamblers usually choose one of the above-mentioned resources. Although they are illegal in Taiwan, the government does not block web pages that do not fall under its jurisdiction.

Macau

This region has its government and laws. Officially, it is considered part of China but with a proprietary capitalist economy and political system. Macau allows offline casinos, sports betting, and poker but does not issue licences to those entrepreneurs who provide iGaming services.

However, since virtual RMGs are not regulated, it is not prohibited. Here, people can play without worry, which is very important considering that in China, Hong Kong, and Taiwan entertainment on the Internet is strictly prohibited.

Macau remains the richest epicentre of the industry, surpassing even Las Vegas in terms of income. All activities of this type are carried out under the jurisdiction of the Control Bureau (DICJ), which manages the entire niche.

An interesting fact regarding gambling revenues in the country is that two-thirds of this amount comes from game tourism operators — the main suppliers of VIP clients from China. They do not work as concierges and service staff: they play an equally significant role.

For businessmen and wealthy people, taking money out of China is not an easy task. In this case, game tourism performs a very responsible function: to let casino visitors win money and then return funds to the homeland. Although it was considered illegal before the inclusion of Macau in China, after 2002, several laws regulating this area came into force.

The Philippines

Here, a special approach to online entertainment for money is applied.

There are 2 RNG games’ regions. The first is PAGCOR, the only authorised local operator that controls all offline and online casinos, bingo, sports betting, and bookmakers’ offices. The second area is the Cagayan special economic free trade zone or Freeport Cagayan. This is the only region that does not fall under the PAGCOR monopoly.

iGaming portals are very attractive to punters here. All local establishments that have a licence issued in one of the 2 regions are safe for customers. The document guarantees that such venues have passed all necessary inspections and operate within the law.

For companies planning to open an Asian casino, the Philippines are a perfect jurisdiction. Although it is more expensive to obtain the certificate here, the local taxation system is very beneficial for international enterprises.

A full licence for both virtual casinos and betting shops includes an application fee of $40,000 and an extra $48,000 per year for carrying out a sportsbook activity. The sum should be paid upon issuance of the permit. The renewal fee is $40,000.

It is expected that, in the coming years, significant growth in the iGaming sector will take place. According to the Asia Gambling Brief resource, the country can become the most successful jurisdiction, the total market share of which has increased from $2.05 to $2.7 billion in one year.

The EveryMatrix company has opened a branch office in Manila, thus taking its place in the region. To meet all the needs of the iGaming Asian community, the provider has secured the presence of its operators in the local market.

Singapore

In general, casino entertainment here is prohibited. Some time ago, many offshore enterprises of this type were blocked, after which the use of unauthorised resources was recognised as a criminal offence.

The new law, which has recently come into force, prohibits all types of casino services and their promotion. The document only allows local non-commercial operators of gaming sites to carry out their activity.

This law appeared as a result of the increased popularity of internet entertainment for money and eventually led to the fact that many owners of offline amusement locations left the country.

Japan

Live dealer casino games

Here, virtual casino solutions are not allowed, and offline business is strictly limited and controlled. Legal gaming services include lottery, instant lottery, sweepstakes, betting on the results of motorcycle and bicycle races, competitions on boats, and football matches.

At the same time, the authorities cannot interfere with the activities of foreign platforms. Despite severe restrictions, sportsbook and wagering options are very popular here. The local regulator allows wagering on lotteries, football, and open sports events. However, bids can be placed only on official resources.

It is preferable to choose international resources to enjoy more complex solutions, such as fixed/live betting, poker, etc.

Vietnam

Of all types of casino entertainment, only the state lottery is legal here. Due to such restrictions, illegal establishments are flourishing since there are many fans of lotteries, digital poker, and sportsbook options.

As in the neighbouring countries, access to international and domestic sites is not limited, and the regulator does not try to block them.

Indonesia

About 90% of the population is Muslim so naturally, most gaming services are strictly prohibited. Only the free lottery is considered legal here.

No matter how hard the government tries, it cannot stop people from liking betting and table games, and that is why many citizens visit international or local amusement platforms.

South Korea

The jurisdiction considers casino solutions illegal. Moreover, playing outside the country is also not an option for all Koreans. At the same time, there are still some state-controlled services (horse racing, lotto, and wagering on several sports).

To develop the tourism industry, the country has opened 16 casinos but only tourists can visit them. The only establishment of this type where locals are allowed to play is Kangwon Land Resort & Casino.

Koreans can bid (as in many parts of Asia where gaming is illegal) on regional sites that support simple payment methods and the local language of the interface.

International wagering platforms are more difficult to use since in this case, it is not so easy to make deposits. However, there are many other options.

Thailand

Here, the niche is regulated by many laws. Although such activity is mostly illegal, the Thai people are very fond of it.

Players are offered 2 types of legal entertainment: the Bangkok horse race, which attracts higher society, and the National Lottery, which is popular throughout the country and accessible to most citizens.

To meet the demand for casino services, Cambodia, Burma, and Laos have establishments that Thais can visit. Moreover, they have the right to play online, and then personally come to the institution and collect the winnings.

As for the incredibly popular iGaming sector, people are allowed to bet on sports and play content for money on sites that were licensed in other countries.

Thai bettors prefer local bookmakers because they offer localised interfaces and easier payment methods. British sportsbook resources also have their customers but it is more difficult for them to replenish the account. At the same time, the UK sites offer live betting solutions and a higher level of security, especially for English operators who work in Thailand.

Malaysia

Local citizens honour Sharia, which prohibits gambling. This taboo applies to both the country’s residents and tourists of the same faith, even if they are just visiting. Despite this, there are legal forms of casino entertainment that are aimed at the Chinese minority (1/3 of the population) and non-Chinese tourists.

Players can make deposits via the Internet or an ATM using a bank transfer since there are a lot of banks in the country.

The most popular platforms among locals are licensed in the Philippines and Europe. In the latter case, the permit is recognised worldwide and issued for various sports and gambling products.

India

The local iGaming market is growing rapidly, although the land-based niche is severely limited. Horse racing and lotteries are the only completely legal options.

The gradual development of the niche in recent years happened because of the rise of the middle class and the spread of the Internet. Currently, wagering on cricket is at the peak of popularity here. Professional players choose regional sites that provide easy settlement methods.

Although the Indian authorities do not issue gambling permits, there is no legal framework that directly prohibits such activities. Due to the ambiguities of the outdated legislation regarding iGaming, it is difficult to clearly define what is allowed in the jurisdiction, and what is not.

It is impossible to say for sure whether casino products are prohibited here but the local government can block foreign sites and prevent citizens from using some betting platforms.

Two states in India have introduced specific laws regarding virtual gaming. In Maharashtra, the field is completely prohibited, while in Sikkim, the authorities have the power to grant permits to those who wish to run a casino business within its territory.

Not so long ago, the Foreign Exchange Management Law was passed, mandating the use of rupees to conduct digital transactions. However, most players prefer to utilise such e-wallets as Skrill, PayPal, and Neteller to make deposits.

Considering the availability of virtual resources in the jurisdiction, one can expect a growing demand for digital sportsbook options and a tightening of control measures.

Other States

Casino games in Asia

Bangladesh

There are many people here who prefer to play games for money online on well-known Western web resources since such entertainment is not allowed in the country for religious reasons

Pakistan

It is an Islamic state where casino games are illegal. However, gamblers wager on foreign sites whose activity is allowed in Europe and that provide payment services that are convenient for Pakistani residents

Lebanon

Not so long ago, Lebanese citizens had the right to visit several gaming sites. Since 2013, the Ministry of Justice has decided to ban the activities of all operators and grant a legal monopoly to Casino du Liban, which obtained the appropriate permit

Kuwait

This is an Islamic country, which means that all gaming activities within its territory are prohibited

Brunei

It is located on the island of Borneo, which is adjacent to Malaysia. All forms of casino entertainment are prohibited here for religious reasons

Bahrain

It is also an Islamic state, so local citizens are not allowed to place bets. Moreover, internet censorship operates in the country: the government blocks all platforms that are related to gaming

Qatar

This is another jurisdiction where content for money is illegal for religious reasons and thematic sites are blocked because of internet censorship

United Arab Emirates

iGaming has been vetoed in the UAE, and the local authorities are taking strict measures to detect and block prohibited materials, including amusement sites

Hong Kong

Here, only RMGs controlled by the Hong Kong Jockey Club are legal. For example, horse racing, soccer games, and lotteries.

Mahjong is another entertainment that is available in the country, while poker is in a grey area and still belongs to the underground category

The Main Things about Casino Solutions in Asia: Aspects That Deserve Attention

In the coming years, the Asian iGaming market will become an interesting object for researchю. Offline establishments that offer entertainment for money are losing more customers who usually choose online platforms.

  • It is worth paying attention to the jurisdictions that are considered leaders in this industry, although they do not fully regulate or sometimes even prohibit casino solutions. These are China, Japan, and Korea.
  • It is known that Muslim countries do not allow amusement for religious reasons. However, states with the predominance of political influence block this rather liberal industry as well.
  • On the other hand, in Macau and the Philippines, which are very loyal to casino products, you can find everything you are looking for.
  • There is also an intermediate option: countries that, although they have banned gambling, are not trying to block it, especially if such an activity is carried out online. These include Thailand and Malaysia.

There is every reason to predict the further growth of the regulated iGaming market at the international level.

EveryMatrix is one of the leading software providers in the industry. The company offers ready-made casino solutions and a flexible platform for game management and payment processing.

Products of this reliable brand, as well as many other useful services, can be bought from the Rosloto studio.

We also offer our clients to order:

  • the development of exclusive HTML5 games;
  • drafting a business plan;
  • promotion of already implemented projects, and much more.

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Clara Hazel
Author: Clara Hazel
iGaming business expert
Updated 30.04.2020
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