One of the fastest growing industries in the world is the gambling industry. It is currently worth around $443.2 billion, and is expected to continue climbing to an estimated $647 billion by 2027.

This is partly due to the technological advances that have improved the product supplied by the industry, as well as the availability of online casinos. 

One continent that has always had a rich history with gambling is Asia, and as such, the gambling market there is very large, with the Asia-Pacific region being worth around $72.2 billion alone, in 2019. 

Although gambling is largely illegal throughout the continent, there are countries that allow some forms of it, and there are many online casinos that are accessed through various methods, such as these, and it is there where the potential for a structured gambling industry can be seen.

There is a large demand for gambling throughout Asia, which is detailed below in a comparison between various countries, such as Thailand and more. 

Gambling laws in Asia

Gambling in Asia has always been a popular activity, and historical evidence suggests that it actually originated in Asia, in Japan, back in the 14th century, or even earlier. Although gambling has been enjoyed by many throughout the history of Asia, it is illegal throughout most of the continent, with different countries having different laws. 

Some countries prohibit gambling entirely, such as in Singapore, while others allow a few forms. Gambling in Indonesia is also strictly forbidden, and there are no casinos, or sports to be bet on, and if caught, can warrant a 3–5-year prison sentence. 

Gambling in the Philippines is legal however, but only if gambling at the government approved casinos in the various districts, and online casinos follow the same rules. Gambling in India is largely illegal, with only two regions allowing casinos, Goa and Sikkim, while online gambling laws are basically non-existent. 

Thailand gambling laws

Thailand has had quite a long history related to gambling, and has enjoyed the pastime immensely. Gambling was legal prior to 1917, and there were many things to bet on, which ranged from betting on bullfights, to cockfights, as well as many gambling games that were introduced by foreign traders. 

In 1917, gambling was made illegal to curb crime, but brought back again between 1930 and 1935, but swiftly made illegal after public opinions reflected a distaste for the activity. 

Despite the heavy anti-gambling sentiment, many illegal casinos are run throughout the country, and technology has allowed online casinos to be accessed, both foreign and domestic. The only legal form of gambling at the moment are lotteries, specifically government lotteries, and is used as a form of tax collection. 

Gambling in China 

Gambling in China has also had quite a history and was largely legal for a long time, until made officially illegal in 1949. One of the earliest forms of gambling in China was sports betting, and evolved around the same time as CuJu, an early form of soccer, originated. Although gambling in casinos is illegal in China, there are other forms available for the public to enjoy. 

One of these is the Welfare Lottery, and generated around $60 billion in 2019, but seems to be on the decline. One of the regions where gambling is allowed however is 

Macau, and is not only a tourist destination for foreigners, but for many that wish to gamble in Asia. There are currently 38 casinos operating in Macau, which generate over $27 billion each year. 


Japan has had a very long history with gambling which originated in the 8th century, with a game that is very similar to backgammon, and was only until the 13th century that gambling activities were prohibited. 

This doesn’t mean that there is no gambling market in Japan, quite the opposite, as there are many forms of legal gambling in Japan available. One of the most popular is sports betting, with horse betting being the biggest, and that market alone is worth $26,9 billion.

The other legal form of gambling, that is considered entertainment as it is actually an arcade game, is pachinko. Pachinko is similar to slots, and is the biggest gambling game in all of Japan, and is estimated to generate around $900 billion a year, with over 9.4 thousand parlors across Japan, housing a combined total of 2.56 million machines. 

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