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Online gambling is a concept that is becoming increasingly popular all over the world, but unfortunately, gambling on the internet isn’t legal everywhere. In most cases, it is legal to gamble but illegal to run a gambling operation, but this can differ depending on where you are located. What are the rules in Asia? Are online casinos illegal?
Considering how big Asia is and how many countries and territories it holds, there is no quick or simple answer, and we are going to have to dig a little deeper this time to find out what the rules are for online casinos in Asia.
While this is something you might already know, we still want to start with the basics for those who are new to online gambling and the casino world. An online casino is a website that offers gambling opportunities such as slots, lotteries, bingo, poker, blackjack and other types of games, and where you deposit real money with the hopes to win.
You create a casino account, verify it by following the prompted steps, make a deposit using the payment method of your choice and then you are ready to start choosing from a game catalogue that often consists of hundreds of different casino games.
The online casino industry is closely regulated and there are casinos based all over the world, and the benefit they bring is that you can play from the comfort of your home, even in areas where there might not be any land-based casinos.
Asia is a big continent with many different countries and regions, and each country has their own gambling laws. Gambling laws are generally strict, but most Asian countries allow online gambling, as it can be hard (if not impossible) to regulate when the online casino is licensed and based abroad.
Most (if not all) online casinos are based outside Asia, to avoid having trouble with the somewhat volatile gambling laws in many Asian countries. To find a casino that works for you, first have a look at the laws in your country to make sure you can legally gamble at an online casino, and then start comparing casinos available in your area.
Yes, land-based casinos are expected to open soon and online gambling is very popular in Japan, both amongst locals and tourists visiting Japan.
Yes, gambling is legal for tourists in South Korea, and there are several casinos aimed only at local tourism. You can find these casinos at most hotels. It is also legal for tourists to use online casinos while in South Korea.
Creating a casino account at an online casino shouldn’t be a problem in most Asian countries, as restrictions and laws don’t tend to apply to online casinos located abroad. Legal action is usually reserved for those running casino operations on territory where it is considered illegal, and in most cases, it does not affect the players.
The UAE does not allow any type of gambling, including online gambling, and the government is actively working to block gambling websites and casinos. At this point in time, it looks like the laws are going to get stricter and there is currently nothing that indicates any positive changes anytime soon.
No, there are no Chinese online casinos due to the gambling restrictions in China, but you may be able to gamble at off-shore online casinos while in China even though it is illegal to run an online casino business.
No, the gambling laws in Hong Kong are somewhat more relaxed than those in mainland China. However, any gambling activity that has not been authorised by the government is still considered illegal, and it is illegal to operate an online casino, just like in the rest of China.
The Basics of Gambling in Asia
Asia is a very large continent, and over 60% of the world’s total population resides in different parts of Asia. This is a part of the globe that has many developed economies and that is known for their technology, and it comes as no surprise that it is an attractive market for the casino industry, and especially online casinos.
Unfortunately, both for players and providers, the gambling laws in many parts of Asia are very strict, and this can make running a casino business almost impossible. Perhaps you live somewhere where casinos aren’t available, and you would like to find a way to still play your favourite casino games? You might have considered joining an online casino.
Before you do, it is important to take some time to look into whether online gambling is an option for you, as you wouldn’t want to break the law and get yourself in trouble, as this would defeat the purpose of spending some time relaxing while gambling online.
One thing many prospective gamblers ask is whether gambling is legal in their country of residence, and their concern is valid considering the importance of abiding to local laws and regulations. Let’s say gambling is banned in your country—how does this affect you as an online casino gambler if the casino is registered abroad?
You could say that this is a loophole in the law used by many gamblers from countries where land-based gambling is illegal. The reason is that if an online casino is licensed and registered somewhere else, in a different country, then it usually isn’t affected by the laws set by the country which you are in. Sounds complicated? Bear with us.
A local government has little to no control over what their residents do on the internet, and most gambling laws are aimed at gambling providers rather than those who play. That said, this can vary from country to country and some countries in Asia are actively trying to restrict and combat online gambling.
This article is not meant to encourage anyone to break any laws or go against set regulations and/or restrictions, and we encourage you to do extra research if you are unsure of what applies in your country.
The Future of Asian Online Gambling
By looking at recent developments on the Asian gambling market, we can possibly predict the direction in which things are headed. Many countries have gotten rid of some of their gambling restrictions in recent years, and gambling (both land-based and online) is now legal in more Asian countries than it used to be.
Good examples are countries where gambling started out as being illegal, then became legal only for tourists, only to recently open up also to local gamblers such as in Vietnam. The steps are small in many cases, but overall we are looking at positive change.
Considering how big Asia is and how much interest there is in gambling, it is certainly an unexplored and underestimated market in many ways. The existing gambling restrictions prevent gambling organisations from establishing their business on Asian territory, and especially due to the uncertainty of laws that seem to be changing constantly.
The future of land-based gambling in Asia is uncertain at this point, especially in the areas with strict gambling restrictions, but online gambling is likely to continue being an option in most Asian countries. Make no mistake—some governments are actively trying to restrict it, but it is unlikely that they will be successful.
By doing your research, it becomes easier to make the decision of whether online gambling is right for you. Strict gambling laws can affect online gambling and online casinos located abroad, but in most cases—as can be seen in this article—it does not. This means you might be able to enjoy the benefits of online gambling even if land-based gambling is prohibited.
Online casinos aren’t usually affected by local laws provided they are based outside Asia, which most online casinos are at this point due to the existing restrictions in the majority of Asian countries. However, this does not apply to every Asian country and proper research should be done before you decide to join an online casino.
If you are visiting an Asian country hoping to gamble online, it is even more important to be aware of the local rules and regulations, as these could apply also to tourists and not only to those who are local. Use this article as a base for future research, but make sure to double-check that the information provided here remains accurate at the time of your trip.
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