Asian destinations to gamble in 2019 and their regulations

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At the moment, Asia is the largest gambling market. And it comes as no surprise since the area makes up for 60% of the world’s population. But that’s not the only reason. Asian countries show interest in global tendencies regarding gambling, and more specific online gambling.

The evolution of online and the increasing interest in using mobile devices, mobile and tablets, are more present in Asia than ever. And, as people are more and more demanding regarding this subject, there is a drive to meet all these requirements through changes involving technological measures.

As things go, there are major changes in the regulatory spheres as well, taking place in order to keep up with the iGaming industry. Each Asian state has already taken a stand towards online gambling, whether they started regulating this industry or banned it. And the ones which decided to regulate it have created rules and laws in order to keep it under supervision, making sure both the online casinos and players are safe and have a comfortable gambling experience.

The increased accessibility to the internet, which has been restricted in some Asian countries, as well as the merge of the newest technologies, have created a consistent growth in the Asian market. Countries in Asia are on a fast track regarding the continuously growing iGaming market. This fast growth has started before 2010 and has skyrocketed since then.


You can find lots of betting forms in China, from sports betting to lottery and pokie machines. Even so, there are some of them which are not approved, such as casino games, poker or mahjong. The Chinese Sports Lottery is the main authority when it comes to sports betting in China’s mainland.

Online gambling is mostly illegal in China, even if it has become very popular. Therefore, punters turn to internationally licenced websites or casinos in order to satisfy their requirements, from live casino games to online pokies.

However, for brick and mortar casinos Macau is the pearl of the Asian gambling. With 33 casinos, responsible for almost 50% of its economy, Macau is one gambling destination you cannot miss if you prefer traditional gambling that is. And you won’t regret it!

There are also some forms of gambling permitted in Hong Kong, but only those regulated by the Hong Kong Jockey Club. These include lotteries, horse races and football matches bets. Poker is still in the grey area; therefore, most gamblers prefer to travel to Macau in order to enjoy a pleasant and safe gambling experience.


The Taiwan Sports Lottery is the only regulatory authority in Taiwan, a country with strict rules when it comes to betting. However, most players in Taiwan prefer online gambling websites which are found under international jurisdiction, as online gambling is not legal in this country.

There, they can find games offered in their own language and a diverse collection of entertainment, such as baccarat, online pokies, casino table games and many more. And these websites are no blocked by the Taiwanese authorities, so you can gamble online whenever you want. Even so, make sure you choose a trustworthy website or casino.


Macau has a special status, called the Special Administrative Region. This allows it to have its own government and laws, even if it officially part of China. Therefore, in Macau land-based casinos and gambling is allowed, this being the reason why it has lots of casinos which contribute to the region’s economy. But it does not address or regulate online gambling.

As online gambling is not regulated, it is not forbidden, so you can gamble online without worry. And its good news for players coming from China or Taiwan to gamble in Macau.

Today, Macau surpassed the gaming revenues of Las Vegas and it’s the world’s most sought-after destination. The governing body which regulates gambling in Macau is the Gaming Inspection and Coordination Bureau.

One of the most interesting aspects of Macau’s gambling revenues is the fact that they are mostly supported by junket operators. These bring VIP clients especially from China and provide concierge services. Since taking money out of China is not an easy deal, these junkets provide punters with money in Macau and they recover them back in China. This activity was illegal, but nowadays there are laws which regulate it.


When it comes to the gambling industry, the Philippines market is a relatively mature one, offering most of the gambling forms available. However, there are 2 distinct regions destined to gambling. First, there is the Philippines Amusement and Gaming Corporation, which is a state-owned authority to operate brick and mortar casinos as well as online casinos, sports betting, bingo and other betting establishments. It is the only authorized gambling operator of Philippines.

There is also the Cagayan Special Economic Zone and Freeport, the second region which is not under the Philippines Amusement and Gaming Corporation jurisdiction.

Online gambling is allowed in the Philippines and it is also considered one of the safest in the world, as online operators are regulated and verified, in order to offer players the best experiences available.

Having all the legal amenities, the iGaming industry in the Philippines is expected to skyrocket in the following years, as well as to generate large revenues. International companies can also get their licence in the Philippines, as they are also provided with a beneficial taxation system.


Gambling is generally illegal in Singapore, and recently the state of Singapore has blocked multiple ranges of offshore online gambling websites. In addition, it is a criminal offence to gamble online on websites which are not authorized.

Therefore, many online gambling operators decided to leave the Singapore market, as the Remote Gambling Act came to be applied. It not only prohibits gambling services but also all advertisements and promotions unless they are provided by non-profit local operators.


Gambling as a whole is quite restricted and controlled by the Japanese authorities. In addition, online gambling is not permitted. However, there are some gambling activities which are legal, such as scratch cards, lottery, horse racing pari-mutuel bets and other racing or sports betting.

And, since the government cannot prevent people from accessing foreign online gambling, you can access international licenced online gambling operators. And, despite all these restrictions, gambling is highly popular in Japan. However, for all the online gambling has to offer, international licenced online operators are the ones to turn to.


In Vietnam, all forms of gambling are illegal, except for the state lottery, and online gambling is also prohibited. The laws are pretty harsh on those who engage in online gambling. However, these tight regulations have created a thriving illegal gambling market, as Vietnamese people are fond of all sorts of gambling. But we do not advise you to engage in such actions if you visit Vietnam.

Even so, as in the neighbouring countries, gamblers in Vietnam can access internationally licenced online gambling operators and play their favourite games, as local authorities do not try to block them.


Indonesia’s population is over 90% Muslim, and the Islamic laws govern the country. Therefore, most gambling activities are prohibited and the only legal form of gambling is the free licenced lottery.

Even so, table games and sports betting are very popular among the citizens of Indonesia, despite the country’s efforts to ban online gambling. And there’s little the government can do to restrict access to internationally licenced online gambling providers. So, people turn to them for their gambling experience.

South Korea

All gambling activities are illegal in South Korea and for the country’s citizens is also a crime to gamble outside the borders. There are only a few state-controlled gambling activities which are permitted: the lottery, horse racing and some sports betting.

However, in order to encourage tourism, the South Korea state holds 16 casinos where only tourists are allowed to enter and gamble. The only casino where Koreans are allowed is the Kangwon Land Resort & Casino.

When it comes to online gambling, Koreans can only place bets through the regional gambling websites which not only offer a language interface, but also easy payment options. These websites offer sports betting, baccarat, poker, roulette, mah-jong or blackjack. Internationally licenced online gambling operators are more difficult to access because of the payment options, but they are also available in South Korea.


There are multiple laws which regulate the Thailand gambling industry, making most of it illegal. Despite all this, Thai people are very fond of gambling. They have the chance to engage in one of the 2 legal forms of gambling, the horse races held in Bangkok or the national lottery.

Due to the citizens’ demands of gambling, there are brick and mortar casinos based in Cambodia, Burma or Laos which can be visited by Thai people. They also have special online facilities to smoothen their experience.

When it comes to online gambling, there is a high demand in Thailand for sports betting, online poker and casino games. And these can be accessed on internationally licenced providers’ websites.


With a 60% Muslim population, Malaysia is a subject to the Sharia law which forbids gambling activities. This applies to all Muslim people, be them locals or tourists. However, there are some forms of gambling allowed for non-Muslims, locals or tourists.

When it comes to online gambling, punters go to the overseas gambling websites, which are internationally licenced in the Philippines and UK, but not restricted to these countries. There are also some good banking options and these websites offer a lot of game variety, from casino games to sports betting, online pokies to baccarat or blackjack.


Although the gambling market in India is very restricted across the country, it is experiencing fast growth in the online industry. When it comes to what is legal, the lotteries and horse racing are the only ones allowed.

The country’s economy has deeply influenced the online gambling industry in India, as internet access spread across the country and the middle class started to grow its incomes. In terms of sports betting, cricket is the most preferred game to bet on, and locals do so on regional websites which facilitate the payment options.

The government does not issue online gambling licences, but it does not prohibit online gambling, so it is difficult to tell what is permitted or not in the legislation which hasn’t been changed in a lot of time. Even so, the government can block international gambling providers in order to prevent citizens to use them for betting.

However, there are 2 states which have very clear legislation concerning online gambling, the Maharashtra, where it is prohibited, and Sikkim, where licences are issued for online gambling websites operating in this particular state.

Overall, where India is concerned, we believe the online gambling market is only going to continue its growth, but there is a need for legislation to define its boundaries as well.

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