Japan, South Korea, Philippines, India and Thailand present diverse challenges and opportunities for iGaming operators today. Peter Stehlik, a Lawyer at Slotegrator, analyzes the Asian market’s prospects in this column, and provides resources on how to operate successfully in the continent.
With roughly 60% of the world’s population, Asia is home to millions of potential online casino players. The region’s many countries with growing economies and high individual income levels are magnetic to online casino and sportsbook operators looking for the right market conditions to make their business grow.
Slotegrator reports that in 2022, Asia’s gambling industry is growing rapidly despite the artificial restraints of restrictive laws and conservative authorities — so rapidly, in fact, that some authorities have even admitted the massive potential of gambling.
Prospects for key Asian markets
Taking into account regulation, tax legislation, licensing, and the development of gambling across Asia, it can be argued that Japan, South Korea and the Philippines are the most attractive in 2022, as well as the fast-developing Indian and Thai markets.
- In Japan, only lotteries and sports betting are currently allowed. A law to legalize integrated resorts in Japan was passed back in 2016. As of June 2022, authorities are still working on changing the gambling legislation, upon completion of which some casinos in the country will be allowed. Gambling revenue in the country is predicted to reach $9 billion by the end of 2022, a fact that is sure to push the world’s leading operators and new industry players to enter the Japanese market.
- In South Korea, citizens can only bet on sports, play the lottery, and visit a single legal casino (there are other land-based casinos in the country that cater exclusively to foreigners). Gambling revenues are estimated to be $17.6 billion.
- Gambling is legal in the Philippines. Two gambling zones have been created here: the first is controlled by the state organization PAGGOR, and the second is the Cagayan Economic Zone (CEZA). Turnover here reaches $3 billion. Company registration and licensing costs more than in other countries of the region, but the taxation system is more profitable.
- Throughout India, betting on horse racing and lotteries is allowed. Gambling is legal only in the states of Sikkim and Goa, as well as in the Daman district. Most casino brands operate in the “grey zone”, because the legal framework in the field of iGaming is ambiguous; due to sometimes competing state and federal laws, it is difficult to determine whether this or that type of gambling is legal or not. Gambling turnover is estimated at $9 billion.
- Gambling in Thailand is partially legalized. Betting on horse racing and the national lottery are legal here. However, locals can play online casinos that are licensed abroad. In this regard, the people of Thailand visit casinos in Cambodia, Laos, and Myanmar.
When deciding where to invest and in which market to start a business, operators often turn to the developer of software for online casinos. At this stage, it is important to make the right choice — both comprehensive solutions and individual products must be adapted to the Asian market and the needs of the end user.
Slotegrator, which has been operating in the Asian market for over 10 years, has expertise in launching, developing, and promoting in the region, as well as offering products demanded by Asian audiences.
The first choice is the platform on which the operator works. The functional modules included in the new platform from Slotegrator allow you to work effectively in any Asian market. A simple back-office user interface and a convenient dashboard make the adaptation process as comfortable as possible for the operator.
The second is the gaming content. Players in Asia are accustomed to well-organized gambling sessions and popular games. Slotegrator closely follows market trends in the region; as of 2022, classic, traditional games are receding into the background and being replaced by live dealer games, and leading game providers are constantly improving the quality of Asian-oriented slots.
Operators can integrate in-demand content and games with local dealers into ther platforms with APIgrator solution. Regardless of the number of games — and there are more than 7,000 of them from more than 100 licensed developers — the integration takes place in one click. Slots, live dealer games, poker, virtual sports, card, and casual games — Slotegrator can provide recommendations for any market, allowing the operator to make the right choice.
And finally, operators have to set up payment methods. Asian players most often choose e-wallets, followed by credit and debit cards, as well as bank transfers. The largest payment system in Asia, 2C2P, accepts payments even from users who do not have a credit card. Provider Thaipay allows you to simplify the process of online payments in Thailand. PaysBuy is similar to PayPal: merchants can accept payments on their sites using Visa, MasterCard, or local bank accounts. Cryptocurrency is popular in Southeast Asia.
Moneygrator allows you to integrate payment methods familiar to players of a particular country into an online casino platform. The solution offers more than 250 payment options, available after a single integration. It eliminates excessive regulation and a whole chain of intermediaries, making transactions transparent and fast.
The opportunities for Asian markets offered by Slotegrator give the operator a sustainable competitive advantage — and the expertise acquired through many years of experience allows us to make the right strategic decisions and guarantees prosperity.