Asia is home to some of the best-traveled locations in the world. With incredible history, cuisine, and attractions, there are countless great destinations to visit.
As with any trip, learning a bit about rules and regulations in certain countries can minimize the risk of making mistakes with cultural differences. Gambling is a prime example of this.
Gambling regulations in Asia vary between countries, and it’s generally more tightly regulated than in the West. Take a look at the guide below to learn about betting regulations in some of the most popular Asian destinations.
On July 1st, 1997, Britain handed Hong Kong back to China. With this changeover came a number of amendments to laws despite Hong Kong continuing to operate as a distinct customs territory from China.
Mainland China strictly prohibits gambling, however, the 1977 Gambling Ordinance permits regulated gambling in Hong Kong. The minimum legal age for gambling in Hong Kong is set at 18.
In-person Gambling in Hong Kong
The Hong Kong government restricts in-person gambling to regulated outlets. All betting on horse racing, lotteries, and football matches is through the Hong Kong Jockey Club, which makes it the biggest earner of government tax.
Online Gambling in Hong Kong
Gambling online in Hong Kong with platforms not provided by the Hong Kong Jockey Club is considered a breach of law. The maximum penalty for placing bets with illegal bookmakers in Hong Kong is a 9-month prison sentence and a fine of HK$50,000.
Popular Gambling Markets in Hong Kong
The most popular betting markets in Hong Kong are horse racing, football, and lotteries. Mahjong schools in licensed gambling establishments are also popular.
Gambling in Malaysia is permitted by the Unit Kawaln Perhudian who regulates permits and licenses on behalf of the Malaysian Ministry of Finance.
Strict Islamic laws prohibit Muslims from gambling and the minimum age for betting in the country is 21.
In-person Gambling in Malaysia
There are six privately owned legal lottery businesses and one 24-hour casino in Malaysia. There are also three horse racing tracks where parimutuel betting is permitted. The types of horse racing betting available in Malaysia include:
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The Kular Lumpur Ferby, Sultan Gold Vase, and the Penang Gold Cup are the most significant horse racing events in the Malaysian racing calendar.
Online Gambling in Malaysia
As seen here, online gambling is legal to participate in for non-Muslims. However, it is illegal to run online casinos in Malaysia. Because of this, making the most of reputable offshore betting sites can provide great incentives and wide betting markets for gamblers.
Popular Gambling Markets in Malaysia
Betting on horse racing is popular in Malaysia. Other popular sports betting markets in the country include cricket, badminton, and football.
Japan offers visitors a vibrant destination that balances the latest technologies and fashions with traditional values and world-class cuisine. Local governments regulate gambling across Japan with a minimum age of 20 for gambling in most cases.
In-person Gambling in Japan
Betting in Japan is mostly on lotteries or public sports. The four sports the Japanese public can gamble on are motorcycle racing, powerboat racing, bicycle racing, and horse racing.
All betting is parimutuel where winnings are paid from a prize pot of the total sales after around 20% to 30% is taken for taxes and the house. Gamblers can purchase betting tickets at the event or off-track ticket booths.
Pachinko is also gambled on with a minimum age requirement of 18. This is because pachinko parlors win balls that can be traded for tokens. These tokens can then be traded for cash as a workaround to gambling rules.
Online Gambling in Japan
Japan prohibits local corporations from operating online betting sites and casinos. However, there are no current regulations that prohibit players from using online betting sites. This means people can access offshore online casinos and betting sites to place a variety of bets.
Popular Gambling Markets in Japan
Horse racing is the most popular betting market in Japan. Other popular markets include lotteries and pachinko. Sports markets like football and baseball can be accessed online via offshore betting sites to give players more variety.
The Gambling Regulatory Authority regulates the Singapore gambling industry for in-person and remote gambling. There is a minimum age of 21 for gambling in Singapore apart from the Singapore Pools which has an age requirement of 18.
In-person Gambling in Singapore
Singapore allows casinos that are part of integrated resorts, including hotels, convention facilities, and entertainment. There is also one authorized horse racing operator in the country, which is the Singapore Turf Club. Betting on horse racing is done through Singapore Pools which allow win, place, place forecast, forecast, trio, quartet, and tierce bets.
Online Gambling in Singapore
Online gambling is illegal in Singapore, but as with many other Asian nations, locals can access offshore betting sites for a range of markets.
Popular Gambling Markets in Singapore
Football is the largest betting market in Singapore. Basketball is also popular along with golf, cricket, and horse racing.
Though many Asian countries still ban online betting, the market is expected to show an annual growth rate of 8.43%, reaching a projected $9.31bn market volume. This shows the demand and potential for this market.
In-person betting still has a way to go in some countries, but visitors and locals can still enjoy some excellent markets thanks to offshore sites. With only a few countries implementing an outright ban on gambling, Asia is home to some excellent betting opportunities and land-based casinos.