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The Rising Popularity of Online Gambling in Asia

The ascent of online gambling is unmistakable worldwide, but its prominence is particularly pronounced in Asia.

In recent years, the region has witnessed a remarkable surge in the iGaming industry, with consistent revenue growth across various forms of gambling, including online casinos, sportsbooks, and lottery.

In this extensive exploration, we’ll navigate through the thriving landscape of online gambling in Asia, examine the most popular types of gambling, and analyse the regulatory frameworks and market dynamics in key countries across the continent.

Diverse Forms of Gambling Prevailing in Asia

The online gambling market in Asia is characterised by its diversity, encompassing a spectrum of activities such as sports betting, online casinos, and online lottery. Each segment has garnered its share of popularity, contributing to the industry’s robust growth trajectory.

Projections indicate that in 2024, the iGaming industry in Asia is poised to achieve a staggering $12 billion in revenue, with a 5.48% annual growth rate. 

Moreover, by 2028, the user base for online gambling in Asia is forecasted to surpass 43 million, underscoring the immense potential of this burgeoning sector. After all, online gambling in any form is still illegal in many Asian countries, existing only thanks to certain legal loopholes.

(all stats and figures taken from

Online Casino: A Hub of Entertainment

Online casinos serve as hubs of entertainment, offering a plethora of games ranging from classic video slots, card games, and dice games, all the way to immersive live casino experiences. 

While slots continue to dominate the landscape, live casino games are getting more and more popular thanks to their interactive features and different social elements, especially the availability of live chats that allow players to communicate with each other, as well as the hosts of various live games.

Despite trailing behind sports betting in terms of popularity and revenue, Asian online casinos are experiencing robust growth, with projections estimating revenue to reach USD 3.42 billion in 2024, accompanied by a projected annual growth rate of 5.02%.

Sports Betting: The Pulse of Excitement

Sports betting remains the cornerstone of online gambling in Asia, commanding a significant share of the market. With revenue projected to reach $3.64 billion in 2024, sports betting maintains its stronghold, buoyed by a diverse array of sporting events.

Football stands as the most popular sport for betting in Asia, followed by basketball, baseball, tennis, horse racing, and MMA. Of course, most bookies will offer a lot more different sports for betting, which often includes some obscure and not very popular sports.

Additionally, the rising popularity of e-sports betting is driving further growth, with revenue expected to reach $397.1 million in 2024. Given how popular e-sports are in some Asian countries, it’s hard to put a number on the expected growth, but the potential is certainly immense.

Online Lottery: A Global Opportunity

Online lottery presents a unique opportunity for players to participate in the most popular lotteries worldwide without geographical constraints.

Although its revenue projection of $0.75 billion in 2024 trails behind sports betting and online casinos, online lottery adds a layer of diversity to Asia’s online gambling landscape.

In some countries, the lottery is one of a few truly legal forms of gambling, usually governed by the government itself.

Exploring Asia’s Leading Online Gambling Markets

Let’s dig deeper into the online gambling perspectives in some of the largest iGaming markets across Asia and take a closer look at the legal situation in them.

Japan: Unraveling Legal Complexities

In Japan, online gambling operates within a legal grey area, allowing offshore operators to thrive despite regulatory challenges. You can find reviews for many of these operators at

In any case, gambling overall is prohibited by law in Japan, with some notable exceptions like pachinko and horse racing. However, these laws are fully focused on bookmakers and casinos located in Japan, while Japanese players can easily gamble online at overseas casinos and bookies.

Japan’s online gambling market is projected to approach 6.20 billion US dollars in revenue in 2024, with sports betting being the most popular form of online gambling in Japan.

For more information on online casinos and sportsbooks in Japan, visit

India: Navigating Legal Frameworks

Another country with a similar problem to Japan, India’s online gambling landscape is shaped by the Public Gambling Act of 1867, which deems gambling illegal on the federal level while leaving the regulation of gambling to individual states.

Some states have taken steps to legalise gambling, others have already done so, but overall, only a few Indian states have clarified their position with specific laws.

Despite legal ambiguities stemming from the fact the Public Gambling Act of 1867 doesn’t even mention online gambling, online casinos based abroad operate legally in India, contributing to an estimated revenue of $2.90 billion in 2024.

Thailand: Embracing the Gray Area

In Thailand, online gambling operates within a legal grey area, with strict laws prohibiting most forms of gambling.

Despite these challenges, the online gambling market is expected to reach a revenue of $538 million in 2024, indicating resilient growth and suggesting potential changes in the legality of gambling in the future.

Philippines: Regulated Growth

The Philippines boasts a regulated gambling market overseen by the Philippine Amusement and Gaming Corporation (PAGCOR). 

While local operators are restricted from offering online services to residents, Filipino players can legally gamble online at casinos based abroad.

The projected revenue for 2024 for the Philippines’ online gambling market is expected to reach $670 million.

Vietnam: Navigating Legal Restrictions

In Vietnam, strict gambling laws prohibit online gambling, with the government enforcing penalties for violations. In fact, Vietnam has one of the strictest laws when it comes to gambling in the whole of Asia.

Despite legal constraints, Vietnam citizens often access offshore online casinos via VPNs, albeit with inherent risks, which extend beyond potential legal penalties.

Singapore: Legal Issues Preventing Growth

The situation in Singapore is pretty similar to the one in Vietnam, with the government focused on preventing any form of illegal gambling, whether online or otherwise.

That being said, certain exceptions are made to accommodate tourists, like allowing casinos in specific resorts that possess special licences.

On top of that, Singapore citizens can also gamble online by using a VPN, although that is a risky proposition.

Conclusion: Navigating a Dynamic Landscape

Despite regulatory complexities and legal ambiguities, online gambling in Asia continues to flourish, driven by increasing demand and accessibility of online casinos and sportsbooks based abroad.

Many countries in the region exhibit a nuanced approach to regulation, allowing citizens to access offshore casinos and sportsbooks despite gambling being deemed illegal otherwise.

This trend is expected to persist in the coming years, with many Asian countries likely to reconsider their laws and perhaps legalise online gambling, fueling further market expansion, growth, and innovation of the iGaming industry in the region.

As Asia’s online gambling landscape continues to evolve and expand, opportunities abound for players and operators alike to navigate this dynamic and thriving sector.



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