Is Gambling Illegal in Asian Countries?

Regardless of the fact that Asian economies are catching the attention of operators due to their immense potential, the region is not an easy one to get into financially. The vast majority of countries have strict gambling and betting legislation, with just a few enterprises legally licensed to operate in any particular country in any given year.

However, it seems that there is a trend toward legalization over time, instead of suddenly, rather than in one instance. The creation of underground markets operated by gambling syndicates in many countries where gaming has been illegal for decades has led to the emergence of gambling markets that offer neither security to players nor openness to the gambling industry. The plan of some governments to deal with this problem — and to capitalize on their people’s newly found entertainment habits — involves progressively legalizing gambling, starting with brick-and-mortar facilities and working their way up to online gambling.


Is Gambling Illegal in Asian Countries?

When it came to casino gambling in Singapore, it was restricted to a few publicly owned establishments, such as Singapore Pools and the Singapore Turf Club.

Until 2005, private casinos were outlawed in the area, as they are in many other nations. An admission charge of SGD 150 is now in place to dissuade problem gambling at integrated resorts after the local government reversed its earlier prohibition. There are currently just two licenses available, and both have already been taken.

Except for the services offered by the National Heritage Board and Singapore Sports Council, online gambling is banned in Singapore. However, offshore casino websites are still in a grey area when it comes to legislation. When players are asked is online gambling legal in Singapore, they usually say yes as they are referring to these offshore websites that provide their service to them.


In India, individual states have jurisdiction over gambling regulations as a result of the country’s federated organizational structure.

At the present moment, actual casinos may be found in the States of Goa, Sikkim, and Daman & Diu, among other places. With previous approval from the local government, offshore vessels may offer gaming services in Goa, which is why boat casinos have long been legal in the state. On-land gambling on sports and horse racing is completely controlled. Consider the following: Poker is commonly regarded as a game of skill, which makes it lawful in the vast majority of nations across the world.

In addition, there is no federal monitoring of internet gambling, and only a few states have proclaimed it to be legal in their jurisdiction. As of 2021, the states of Sikkim and Nagaland will provide licenses to operators of casino games and sportsbook firms, while the states of Andhra Pradesh and Tamil Nadu will outright ban the practice.


With the exception of two state-run lotteries, the Welfare Lottery and the Sports Lottery, gambling is strictly outlawed in China. Casino gambling is legal in two special administrative regions of the People’s Republic of China: Macau and Hong Kong, where Chinese citizens may enjoy a variety of activities.

Chinese authorities’ staunch resistance to gambling has had enormous ramifications well beyond the country’s borders, with neighboring countries often targeting Chinese tourists at their land-based casinos as a consequence of the Chinese government’s ardent rejection.


Despite the fact that Malaysia is a mostly Islamic country, it forbids its citizens from participating in either land-based or online gambling. In contrast to Cambodia and Vietnam, it allows brick-and-mortar businesses to operate in the country and give their products to foreigners. In contrast to other countries in the region, players in the United States are not liable to criminal prosecution.

You may, however, continue to gamble by using a reputable off-shore betting site, since such a site will still provide their goods to you, and off-shore gambling sites are still considered to be in the gray area when it comes to legality.


The Philippine Amusement and Gaming Corporation (PAGCOR) and the Cagayan Economic Zone Authority (CEZA), two different government agencies, are in charge of overseeing gaming regulation in the country (CEZA).

For land-based casinos, PAGCOR is in charge of the licensing process. For online gambling enterprises, which are not permitted to operate in the country, CEZA is in charge of providing licenses.

As a consequence, overseas operators are permitted to lawfully offer iGaming services to Filipinos, as this is not specifically prohibited by Philippine legislation. More confusion has developed as a result of the issuance of Philippine Offshore Gaming Operator (POGO) licenses by the Philippine Amusement and Gaming Corporation (PAGCOR).


Except for a few exceptions, like pachinko shops and public lotteries, gambling has been outlawed in Japan for the majority of the country’s history. Gambling is defined as “the act of putting one’s property or assets at risk on the outcome of a game of chance” under Thai law, and it is considered a criminal offense.

However, in 2018, the country permitted the construction of “integrated resorts” that featured casinos. Tourists are the major target audience for these establishments, however, locals are invited to take advantage of their services. To combat gambling addiction, strict laws are in place in place, including the following: There is an entry fee of JPY 6,000 (EUR 46 / USD 50) and a maximum of three trips each week or ten visits per month for Japanese citizens who want to visit.

The Future of Asian Gambling Markets

If you think Asia isn’t a good place to gamble, you’re wrong. Legalization is more possible now than it was a decade ago because of a better knowledge of player safety measures and the economic advantages of the industry.

Currently, the liberalization of land-based businesses follows the Western and Latin American countries’ models and is mostly targeted at tourists, at least for the time being. We have to wait and watch whether COVID-19 will slow down or shift its attention to legalizing online gambling markets to make up for the loss of tax revenue.

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