While most European countries are pressing forward towards the legitimization of online gaming¸ it is a fact that it is illegal in nearly all Asian jurisdictions¸ and that coupled with this¸ there seems to be little development on that front in the pipeline. While a great deal of gaming takes place online “under the radar¸” the authorities do not appear to be overly concerned about it. To this end it has been often deemed ‘an appropriate time for governments to¸ at the minimum¸ seriously research the issues and get up to speed on the topic for thoughtful policy discussions .
The Asian culture has however noticeably caught on with physical legal gambling¸ which per se is very much focused on the ‘destination resort’ concept being developed in locations such as Macau¸ and of recent also Singapore¸ the Philippines and Thailand.
From an Asian perspective¸ one of the predicaments experienced by Western casinos in view of Asian market-entry in the online world is their failure to evolve current payment set-ups into models more Asian-currency friendly. The Asian stance continues by noting that website language translation into Chinese and the incorporation of ‘targeted games’ is only a part of the package desired by them as a whole. It has been held that because: “Asian gambling revolves around a cash culture¸ (…) until cash can be easily deposited into the online casino made readily available to winners¸ the Asian market cannot be fully excavated“.
Virtual money and enhanced anonymity are another two key precepts which the Asians hold close at (gambling) heart. The European EcoCard cash-converter has been identified as well-suited to the Asian market.
Clearly¸ fully-fletched challenges lie equally on both ends¸ for the Asian gambling player looking to explore the market as well as for the foreign service-providing looking to contribute to and enter that market. It is in this context that it was said that “the casino that fully adapts to Asian culture will be the real winner in the online casino game“.
For a free copy of Country by Country Legal Report¸ please email a.cassingena@pkfmalta
Reports includes legal updates¸ analysis and a current insight of the Asian Gaming Market.