The Future of Asian Gambling Market

Asia is a region of many contradictions. Indeed, the countries in the region have the most stringent policies on gambling; however, its population is quickly becoming the biggest driver of the casino market growth. One may wonder what awaits the Asian gambling industry in 2022 and beyond.

Considering the recent developments, people can expect two possibilities. States and governments could enhance law enforcement and regulation to crack down on land-based and online casinos, upholding government stance against all forms of gambling. Another possibility is that the governments would finally recognize the value of the casino industry, expand the legal forms of gambling, and implement policies on player protection.

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It is impossible to say for sure what would happen in every country. After all, traditional and religious beliefs, which are not very welcoming to the legalization of gambling, still influence state and government policies in many Asian countries. On the other hand, some national leaders, who are more pragmatic, express a noticeable shift in attitude towards the casino industry.

It has been proven that the casino industry can boost a country’s revenues, rejuvenate the tourism industry, and generate jobs. In many countries affected by the COVID 19 pandemic, the tax dues of registered online casinos helped keep tax collections afloat.

Operators recognize the untapped potential of the Asian market. Casino moguls are persistent in convincing states and governments that recognition, regulation, and protection of the industry and its market is much more advantageous, as opposed to stubborn prohibition. So far, these efforts towards legalization are gaining ground steadily.

Here are some of the largest Asian markets whose governments have changed their approach and have one way or another opened their doors to land-based and online casinos:

South Asia

Land-based casinos are recognized and regulated in several states. India is a federation of states, and as such, the decision on gambling laws rests on each state’s policy and governance. Although there are no moves to legalize gambling at the federal level, some states are in the process of evaluating its advantages and disadvantages.

Similarly, online gambling at isn’t prohibited nor legalized at the federal level. However, some states grant licenses to casino operators, while some have explicit policies that prohibit online casino operations and the participation of their populace.

The silver linings for India are these: poker is considered a skill game and thus can be played openly, and a committee had recommended country-wide legalization of gambling and betting.

East Asia

East Asian countries and regions have various policies on gambling, ranging from outright prohibition to complete legalization. Big markets such as China and South Korea remain steadfast in the outright ban on gambling and betting activities among their populace. Of course, policies are different in casino bubbles in Macau and Kangwon Island.

Japan implements a more liberal approach to casino operations. The state allows its citizens to visit casinos three times a week or ten times per month. Moreover, pachinko houses and government-operated lotteries are allowed in the country. Of all the countries in East Asia, Japan could be most favorable to legalizing online casinos.

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Southeast Asia

Many casino operators are interested in penetrating the Southeast Asian market despite strict prohibitions in many countries. Vietnam and Thailand are among the toughest in prohibiting any form of gambling and betting activities. On the other hand, Singapore and Cambodia favor limited recognition and strict regulation. Perhaps, the Philippines has the most liberal approach in land-based and online casinos.

Land-based casinos are registered and regulated by the Philippine Amusement and Gaming Corporation (PAGCOR). In recent years, the national government has been pushing to establish casino resorts in well-known tourist destinations like Boracay. The government also rehabilitated Manila Bay to support the development of hotels and gaming resorts along the bay strip.

Moreover, many online casinos operating in the world market acquired their licenses in the Philippines through the Cagayan Economic Zone Authority (CEZA). However, Philippines-registered online casinos cannot accept Filipino players on their platforms.


There are many reasons why gambling is restricted in Asian countries. However, it can not be denied that gambling and betting, primarily through online casinos, have suddenly become popular in Asia. Many studies show that Asians spend more time and more significant amounts of money playing casino games online.

This situation prompted many states and governments to take a pause and reconsider their approach to the issue of legalizing gambling and betting. However, since many Asian countries uphold traditional and religious views even in governance, changes are still slow and gradual. For sure, governments will generally move towards opening doors to land-based and online casinos rather than shutting them off totally.

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