Sports betting is one of the most popular pastime activities in the world that generates billions of dollars’ worth of revenue every year. With that said, even though sports are common all around the world, betting is not popular in every region due to a number of reasons.
First of all, not every country has legalized sports betting, even though most people consider it to be a vital part of the sport. In some countries, you are allowed to access any sports betting site, while in others this is strictly prohibited or somehow regulated by the government.
Additionally, some cultures have different opinions about betting, which might impact the popularity of betting activities in a certain region.
In today’s article, we will focus on Asia and find out more about the sports betting market in this continent and how it compares to the rest of the world.
Let’s jump in.
Sports Betting in Asia
Given the size of the continent and that it accounts for more than half of the world’s population, it is no surprise that Asia is one of the biggest gambling markets in the world. There are over 4.6 billion people living in Asia, which makes it easy to understand why Asia is a dominant player in the gambling industry.
With that said, sports betting and gambling, in general, aren’t that popular in Asia compared to the rest of the world. In the past couple of years, we’ve seen many big countries like China that have only now started softening their regulations towards betting, which means that Asia isn’t operating at its full potential when it comes to sports betting.
However, even though sports betting started to gain popularity in the past couple of years, Asia is still a dominant player in the world’s sports betting industry.
If we look at the numbers from last year, we can see that Asia’s internet gambling market alone reached $26,8 billion which is close to 40% of the total global online sports betting market. We have the same situation when we analyze online gambling in general, where Asia reached $72.2 billion which is 48% of the global gambling market size.
This means that Asia is without a doubt one of the biggest continents, not just in size and population, but also in sports betting revenue. The global sports betting market is expected to grow at 10.3% CAGR until 2032 and Asia will be the main driver for such growth.
Laws and Regulations in Asian Countries
Even though Asia is the biggest contributor to the sports betting market, it still hasn’t reached its full potential just because sports betting has just recently begun to grow in popularity. On top of that, there are different laws and regulations in Asian countries that don’t allow people to place online bets.
With that said, as the industry grows bigger, countries are seeing the potential of the sports betting industry and starting to soften their restrictions.
For example, China alone is the size of the US sports betting market, and gambling and betting was only recently been legalized. This means that the fast growth of the sports betting industry in China will result in being one of the biggest gambling countries in the world.
The laws and regulations towards sports betting are different from country to country. Some countries have lifted up their bans on online gambling which makes it completely legal, and others still have a soft spot on this subject, and gambling is strictly forbidden.
Asian Countries Where Sports Betting is Most Popular
Even though the Asian continent is constructed by many countries, the largest percentage of all sports bets come from only a few. This again proves the dominance of the Asian continent in terms of sports betting and opens up the opportunity for even higher growth of the market in the future.
As of now, Japan, China, Thailand, Singapore, Vietnam, and Cambodia are the biggest countries where sports betting is most popular. They are also the main contributors to the large market size of the sports betting market in Asia.
China had strict regulations about gambling and all such activities were considered illegal since 1949, with exception of gambling in the casinos of Macau.
The important thing to mention is that online gambling remains illegal in China, and if people want to place sports bets, they must do it in one of their official and government-regulated sportsbooks. The Chinese local online gambling market is set to reach $24 billion this year alone.
Even though sports betting is legal in Japan, they are very strict on the games of choice. This means that games of chance such as casino games and forms or “random” games of chance are illegal. However, sports betting is legal and horse racing, bicycle racing, and other sports are legal under special laws that are regulated by local governments.
The Change of Legalization
As you can see, even in countries where sports betting is legal, there are many regulations in terms of the type of sports and games people gamble on.
However, in recent years, Asian countries have made a huge step forward in the legalization of sports gambling, which only means that the market will continue to grow bigger.