The countries in Asia have hugely varying laws and strictness when it comes to online gambling (and gambling in general). Some countries are very liberal when it comes to gambling whereas others have made gambling completely illegal with very strict penalties for breaking the law. For this reason we are going to be creating separate pages for most Asian countries as listed below. As a good rule of thumb though, the online casinos listed on this page will be playable in most countries where online casinos are legal.
Online Casino Papua New Guinea (Oceania)
Online Casinos for Asian players:
Online gambling in Asia
Asia is a vast continent, and some countries are a lot more developed than others. Given that fact, online gambling was always going to be a tricky subject to cover when it comes to Asia. There is no single piece of gambling legislation across the continent, with each Asian country determining its own gambling laws. In a handful of Asian countries, gambling is legal for all. In others, it is only legal for tourists, expats and non-locals. In quite a few Asian countries gambling is completely illegal no matter who you are and where you reside, with some pretty severe penalties for breaking the law.
In this article, we will look at online gambling in Asia. We will look at some of the jurisdictions and countries where gambling is illegal, and those where it isn’t. We will also look at ways in which Asians can get around gambling restrictions in some countries. So, without further ado, let’s look at the general array of gambling laws you can find in Asia.
Online gambling laws in Asia
Asia happens to be one of the biggest markets for online gambling, and yet in most countries gambling online is deemed illegal. Over 60% of the world’s population lives in Asia, which would make it one of the most attractive gambling markets for casino providers, if only they were permitted to offer games in most countries.
In countries such as China, the authorities go out of their way to hunt down any operators who try and offer their services to players in the country. Meanwhile, over in Hong Kong, gambling is legal, but only if you decide to play at government run websites and only when you bet on football, horse races and lottery games. The Philippines, though, has a rather lax online gambling laws, and although locals are usually forbidden from playing online, most foreigners can go about their business there. The Philippines not only supports online casinos but can actively license some of them out of their own jurisdiction.
Over in Singapore, gambling is not only prohibited, it is a major criminal offence to gamble online. Players and casinos alike can be punished in the country. The same is true of Indonesia, with its large Muslim population. South Korea also prohibits its player from gambling, even at so-called offshore casino sites, although the punishments for breaking the law are pithily compared to the Middle Eastern countries and some of those in South West Asia.
Offshore casinos for Asian players
Despite the fairly negative gambling laws in place for most Asian countries, a great number of Asian players decide to wager online anyway. Most of these choose to do so via offshore casinos. An offshore casino is an online casino which is not licensed in the country you are playing in and is instead based offshore. Some offshore casinos can be very trustworthy casino sites, popular worldwide. Others can be shady, blacklisted or even rogue casinos.
Generally speaking, if a country in Asian chooses to outlaw gambling, they will do it one of two ways. The authorities will either create a blacklist to stop their local players from accessing offshore casino sites, or they will choose to turn a blind eye to offshore casinos. Some countries do have blacklists in place and will not persecute locals who find a way around those blacklists, such as via a VPN (virtual private network) or proxy. Others will still punish players who break the laws.
Our advice for players who wish to play at offshore countries where online gambling is illegal is to use a VPN or proxy to mask their location, and this should provide them with access to many online but offshore casino sites. However, in certain countries where the penalties for being caught include imprisonment, hefty fines, floggings or worse (yes, some countries do have penalties worse than flogging) then we would recommend that players simply avoid gambling unless they are out of the country.
Offshore casinos will generally tend to cater to players in Asia, even if they are not supposed to. This means that they might offer Chinese players the chance to play in Chinese and with the yuan renminbi currency option. Japanese players may be able to play in Japanese and with the yen currency, for instance. If an offshore casino offers your Asian language as a possibility, it doesn’t make it legal for you to play there. It simply means that they are open to taking you, regardless of your local gambling laws.
The final obstacle to playing at offshore casinos is banking. Many Asian countries which prohibit gambling will also try to put blocks on you being able to transfer money for gambling purposes. However, using the US dollar as a currency and e-wallets or prepaid cards as deposit options may help you navigate past these obstacles.
Gambling games for Asian players
So, with so many Asian players choosing to break their countries’ gambling laws to wager online anyway, what do they like to play? Many offshore casinos offer Asian specialities such as mah-jong, sic bo, and keno. However, most Asian players’ tastes aren’t that different from the rest of the world. They love a spot of slot machine gaming and quite fancy their chances at table games such as poker, blackjack, baccarat and roulette. Asian players also have a penchant for sports betting.
Should I gamble when in Asia?
The big question is, should you gamble in Asia? The answer to that questions varies, depending on where in Asia you happen to be. If you are based in a country which prohibits gambling but doesn’t hunt down users then why not? If you are based in a country which allows gambling and turns a blind eye to offshore casinos, absolutely. However, if you happen to be based in a country with tough laws (particularly predominantly Muslim countries with Sharia Law), then it is not advisable to gamble online, even with VPNs and proxies. The penalties can be far too severe to be worth it, depending on the country you are in.