The Latest Online Gambling Trends in Asia

In Europe, North America and parts of South America, it easy to identify and track trends related to online gambling. In Europe, most forms of online gambling are widely accepted with access currently available to millions of residents in dozens of countries. In North America, US residents are finally getting the opportunity to experience all forms of gambling via the internet and mobile devices. It’s a fairly new form of adult entertainment for American adults, but expansion is underway and in the next two years, there’s a good chance 75% of the states will allow its residents to play games of chance and bet on sports online.

In Asia, the online gambling picture is not quite as clear. Currently, you won’t see many Asian gamblers who can get legal access to a gambling website like There are a lot of reasons for the clarity issue, which we’ll discuss below. At this point, it would suffice to say that online gambling in general is not legal in any other country than the Philippines. In regard to the Philippines, online gambling is only available to residents through online gambling sites offered by the country’s land-based casinos. The online gambling availability is further restricted to sports gambling only, and deposits have to be made in person at the sports wagering window.

Moving on, let’s visit where Asia stands regarding online gambling here in 2019

Overcoming Cultural Issues

Cultural issues are always going to play a big role regarding the decisions to be made about legalizing online gambling in most Asian Countries. Aside from China, Singapore, Japan, The Philippines and Hong Kong, Asian cultures are not very friendly to any form of gambling. In some countries (Brunei, Pakistan, Indonesia and Malaysia) where a large population of Muslims reside, gambling will likely never be accepted as a viable form of adult entertainment.

In the countries (Macau, Singapore, The Philippines) that do currently allow land-based casino gambling, there’s an innate fear that online gambling would have an adverse effect on a poverty ridden population of young adults who are desperate to find a way out of poverty. It’s important to note that the Philippines government has gone so far as to allow the online gambling industry to set up shop within the country’s borders so long as access is not granted to Philippines residents. These companies are allowed to operate under licensing from the state-owned Philippine Amusement and Gaming Corporation (PAGCOR).

The Legal Landscape in Asia

In most Asian countries, all forms of gambling are illegal. In some cases, a violation of the country’s gambling laws comes with some rather significant penalties. It’s worth noting that while no countries with the exception of the Philippines endorse any kind of online gambling, there are a handful of countries that look the other way should residents decide to use gambling internet sites located in other jurisdictions. Said gamblers won’t have any protection against rogue gambling providers, but they can gambler at their own risk without worrying about repercussions from their local government.

It’s important to understand there are other legalities at play related to online gambling in countries like Macau, Singapore and eventually Japan. Clearly, the laws are set up in these countries to protect the interests of the mega land-based casino operations. While Macau is currently considered the largest gambling mecca in the world, the region’s casino owners don’t seem interested in having their gambling and tourist revenues savaged by online gambling interests. It’s even possible the gambling revenues would increase with a sponsored online gambling website/mobile app, but the tourist $$$ are simply too big to risk. As long as these mega casinos are providing a big chunk of its respective country’s tax revenues, the governments are going to protect the casino’s interests.

The Future of Online Gambling in Asia

As a whole, Asia is a strict continent. With that said, we have discussed some of the countries that might someday embrace the idea of allowing its residents to gamble online. It’s seems to be a bit strange to consider that The Philippines could be a leader in this arena. There’s also a possibility that Japan might look at online gambling once its land-based casino industry reaches some level of maturity.

These are issues worth revisiting heading into 2020.