The gambling industry is perhaps one of the fastest-growing sectors today. In fact, Globe Newswire reports that the online gambling market is projected to grow to $66.7 billion by the end of 2020, due in part to current social distancing and quarantine measures.

But what really pushes the growth of the online gambling industry is the constant innovation of the technology behind it. Coupled with the continuing improvement of worldwide welfare, virtual wagering activities like sports betting are gaining ground in countries that formerly had strict gambling policies ⁠— especially the ones in the Asia-Pacific region.

Here, we’ll take a look at where online sports betting stands in Asia right now.

How big is the online sports betting market in Asia?

As Asia accounts for 60% of the world’s population, it’s only expected that they also have the biggest gambling market. Market researcher Technavio expects Asia’s online gambling market to reach $26.8 billion by the end of 2020 ⁠— amounting to 37% of the total global online market. Furthermore, statistics show 40% of global bets are placed in Asia, since high populations mean a bigger sports gambling community.

The exact figure of the online sports betting market in Asia is difficult to approximate, as the laws in the region are inconsistent and virtual gambling is usually done through unofficial channels. So to see how big online sports betting is in Asia, we should look at it from a wider perspective. The international sports market is said to amount to $250 billion, with online sports betting accounting for 10% of this total worth. From this, we can infer that the online sports betting in Asia is larger than the ones found in the US and Europe, and it’s only poised to become even bigger in the future.

Why is online sports betting flourishing in Asia?

As gambling regulation and laws in the region relax, a lot more of the Asian community have been indulging themselves in different gambling activities. In fact, notorious gaming areas like Macau have recently received two pieces of the wildly popular Fortune Cup horse racing machines ⁠— machines that are basically the casino equivalent of horse racing sports betting.

The success of online sports betting in Asia can be attributed to how easy and convenient the medium is. Even in areas that still have strict gambling regulations like Indonesia or Malaysia, simply having a VPN enables you to log-in to international sports betting platforms. This is why despite the restrictions and censorship on sports betting websites, the Asian market can still freely enjoy the games.

Which Asian countries is sports betting popular in?

Since Asia is a pretty big region of over 4.6 billion people, different territories have their own way of approaching online sports betting. Indeed, Asian online gambling and casino magazine Expat Bets highlights how countries like Cambodia, China, Japan, Thailand, and Vietnam have very active online sports betting communities. These run the gamut of different sporting events — from more common ones like horse racing and football, to sports like golf or cricket. The rise of online sports betting has opened the doors for even more participants across these events, as seen in countries like the Philippines, where sports betting hasn’t been heavily regulated, thus becoming a hotbed for offshore sports betting operators to register their sites in.

For more on trends and updates on the entertainment industries in Asia today, be sure to explore our articles.