Asia boasts captivating gambling markets that have captured the attention of online casino and sportsbook operators, thanks to its vast population of 60% of the world’s inhabitants and the extensive demand for iGaming and wagering.
The following markets are projected to reach an impressive volume of $2.48 billion by 2027. To assist in navigating this thriving landscape, the esteemed professionals at Slotegrator have identified the specific markets worth focusing on in 2023.
In the realm of enticing gambling markets, Slotegrator sheds light on several notable destinations that warrant attention in the present year:
- Japan: Despite the current prohibition on casino gaming, Japan holds great potential as a gambling market. Japan’s plans to establish its first integrated resort, complete with a casino, in Osaka by 2029 aims to bolster tourism. Renowned for its robust economy, Japan also boasts a populace known for their fondness for iGaming and wagering, captivating numerous offshore casinos to the Japanese market. In accordance with the reputable market research firm IMARC Group, the online gambling market in Japan is projected to surge to $10.1 billion by 2027, with an average annual growth rate of 6.95%. The given figures encompass both online casino and online sports wagering activities.
- The Philippines: With legal gambling activities, the Philippines showcases a thriving industry with an annual turnover surpassing $3 billion. In 2022, Philippine casinos experienced a commendable resurgence post–pandemic, generating $3.3 billion in gross gaming revenue (GGR). Notably, the final quarter of 2022 witnessed an impressive year–over–year improvement of 95%, amounting to approximately $934 million in casino GGR, as reported by the regulatory body PAGCOR. Gambling has become ingrained in the lives of Filipinos, forming an integral part of their daily routines.
- India: India’s iGaming market is undergoing a monumental upswing, propelled by its massive population, expanding middle class, and the proliferation of communication infrastructure. The estimated turnover for gambling activities in India stands at an impressive $9 billion. Over the past few years, the licit position of gambling in India has faced uncertainty, with courts issuing varying rulings on skill games, games of chance, and much more. This year, a novel regulatory system was presented, shifting the responsibility of oversight from bureaucratic agencies to “self–regulatory bodies” composed of online gambling businesses themselves.
In the Asian landscape, three noteworthy markets that deserve attention are South Korea, Vietnam, and Malaysia:
- South Korea stands out with its highly advanced society, boasting the world’s fastest mobile internet and a national passion for video games. While citizens are restricted to betting on sports, playing the lottery, and visiting a sole legal casino (with additional land–based casinos catering exclusively to foreigners), it is common for players to engage with offshore gambling sites. Despite these limitations, estimated gambling revenues in South Korea can reach as high as $17.6 billion annually.
- Vietnam emerges as a prospective market in Asia, supported by a robust and expanding economy and an increasing public acceptance of gambling. With a solid GDP of $366.1 billion and a per capita GDP of $3,756 in 2021 (according to the World Bank), Vietnam presents attractive opportunities for iGaming investors. While the process of legalizing gambling is relatively recent, with sports betting permitted in 2018 and the opening of casinos to tourists, the country has experienced a shift in attitudes toward gambling. Authorities are increasingly considering legalization, although comprehensive regulation may still be some time away.
- Malaysia, one of Southeast Asia’s rapidly fast–moving economies, dynamically entices foreign investment through its varied population and tech advancements. In spite of its predominantly Muslim population, Malaysia still accommodates the gambling industry. Lotteries are allowed under the Lotteries Act of 1952, and horse racing was legalized through the Racing Act of 1961. Nevertheless, sports wagering remains prohibited by the Betting Act of 1953. Similar to Vietnam, Malaysia restricts its citizens from both physical and online gambling, allowing only tourists to engage in such activities. Nevertheless, Malaysians‘ passion for sports transcends legal limitations, reflecting their enthusiasm for gambling.
In 2022, Slotegrator released an insightful iGaming guide focusing on Asia, presenting valuable opportunities for those aspiring to explore the thriving gambling scene in the region and uncover exceptional prospects for growth.
Excitingly, Slotegrator’s dedicated team is preparing to participate in SiGMA World / Asia 2023, a prestigious event taking place in Manila from July 19th to 22nd. SiGMA Asia serves as an unparalleled platform, brimming with inspiration and groundbreaking ideas for industry players aiming to maintain a competitive edge in the dynamic realm of iGaming. This event promises to be an exceptional source of innovation and thought leadership, fostering meaningful connections and keeping participants well–informed about the latest developments in the field.