As more and more Asians jump onto the Internet, online casino gambling gets a serious boost. The emerging Asian market is seen as a new golden opportunity for the online gambling industry and some predict it will soon outgrow American and other established markets within the near future.
There is an ancient Chinese proverb about gambling and goes like this: “If you must play, decide upon three things at the start: The rules of the game, the stakes and the quitting time.
Operators of gambling Web sites have had their eyes on Asia for some time. They believe that the widespread bans on conventional gambling casinos have created an ardent interest in borderless internet betting.
Angela Ho, president of the DrHo888.com online casino, says she has seen a 40% increase in online bets in recent months. “The market is huge” says Ho, “and I think everybody knows that Asian players are the most sought after because they spend the most money and are the most fervent gamblers.
South Korea was one of the first countries in the world to have widespread broadband access in the mid-1990s. Countries such as Korea, China, Hong Kong, Singapore and Taiwan have a relatively high broad-band penetration. China, however, has low broadband penetration but a high availability of 24-hour Internet cafes that have kept the countrys online gambling industry going strong.
In another overt sign of a flourishing market, operators who previously focused on more-developed markets such as the US are now joining the eastward rush by creating new Web sites designed to skew specifically to the Asian player.
Simon Noble, CEO of Antigua-based BetWWTS.com, said his company built new Chinese- language pages recently but also stated that business from the Asian market was soaring regardless of the adaptation -in particular betting on European soccer and the NBA (due in part to the popularity of Houston Rockets star Yao Ming).
Our numbers from Asia are up almost 130 percent from last year and it now makes up 30 percent of our overall business, said Noble.
Gaming analyst Sebastian Sinclair, who works for the leading tracker of the Internet gambling sector, Christiansen Capital Advisors, said his projections show that Asian markets accounted for 16 percent of a total Net betting market of $5.6 billion in 2003 and will climb to 40 percent of a total market of $11.6 billion in 2006.
“There is no question that its now growing faster than the U.S. and other established markets, says Sinclair.