Online Casino Gambling in Asia

The concept of online casino gambling had actually began in the islands of Caribbean. It was in 1994 when Antilles Island became the catalyst for the industry of online gambling. It was also on that same year when Antigua, an island located in the West Indies, voted in favor of a bill that will regulate licenses for Internet gambling. Looking back at its origins, you can merely see how online gambling has popularized. And now, those casino sites have been around for along period of time, providing you with the best online gambling experience.

Perhaps one of the areas wherein online casinos have been widely opened is in Asia. Since 900 A.D, Asians have been heavily attached to recreational activities. In fact early Chinese is believed to be the first people who invented playing cards. Aside from having a great passion for gambling, Asians were also equipped with skills that works well in casino table games. They are as well one of the fast-developing markets for internet gambling.

Online casino gambling in Asia has been the hottest topic for industry experts nowadays. They even concluded that the region is the best place for online gambling developments in the present and in the future.

Basically, the development of online gambling in Asia started when the first Asian online casino was introduced in year 2000. However, a series of dilemmas have been encountered before the Asians achieved a fully-developed market. This is probably because some professionals in the industry is heavily restricting the implementation of the said concept. But this didn’t make the Asians hopes down. They even strengthened their aim to make online gambling a regulated activity to prove the government that prohibiting their plans will make no good at all.

As online casinos brought more interest to Asian people, a few casino games were being offered as an online game. Like in China wherein their 4,000 year old card game, Mahjong, is now being played in some online casino sites. And although internet gambling is not fully legalized, Chinese Mahjong players can’t help themselves from entering in sites that offer this ancient game. Moreover, another Asian country that is hardly benefiting from online casino gambling is Japan. Japan is currently under an economical crisis. As supported by the Liberal Democratic Party, the country is looking for effective ways on how to lessen their financial problems. And as a result their government is expecting online casino operators to help them in this dilemma.

Gambling in Asia

While many religions and moralists may object to the act of gambling, it cannot be denied that it could, through proper legalization and monitoring, benefit nations as a whole. Illegal gambling may pose problems to a society, but as many nations are slowly discovering, its legalization coupled with proper controls can, in fact, turn out to be a better solution.

Around the world, western countries like the United States of America remains to be the few places to earn revenue through legal gambling. This, however, does not mean that Asian countries are missing out this big opportunity. Already countries like Macau are advancing in their ‘gambling industry’, reaping about US$2.5 billion in early of year 2011. Of course, Macau, otherwise known as the ‘Monte Carlo of the Orient’ is quite unique, having had legalized gambling since the 1850s and is still the only Chinese territory that fully allows gambling. In fact, gambling is what boosts its tourism sectors, making it Macau’s biggest source of income.

Other countries, having witnessed the lucrative benefits, slowly but surely followed suits. In Malaysia, it is legal to gamble as long as it is operated under government permit or license; gambling at homes or in public places are considered as illegal. However, the legality of gambling are also restricted to certain ages and religions – one must be a non-Muslim and over the age of 18 in order to enter any legal gambling premises. By far, Genting Highlands’ casino resorts still draw large group of ‘tourists’, most of them from neighboring countries.

One of these neighboring countries happens to be Singapore, who used to be an anti-gambling nation. As a result, most gambling Singaporeans would travel to Malaysia and few came home with a fortune. Pressured to retain those income within Singapore as well as to boost the tourism industry, Singapore finally lifted its gambling ban in year 2005 and the very first Singapore casino was opened to public in early year 2010. The billions of dollars poured into this economy certainly did not disappoint; not only have the casinos vastly improved the country’s tourism but it was also predicted that Singapore may take over Last Vegas’ spot of the world’s second largest gambling hub.

But there is yet another up and coming Asian country that will attempt to knock Singapore off its glorious seat, and may just as well do so successfully. The Philippines generated about US$69.58 million in gambling industry in early year of 2011, all thanks to their gambling-favored laws that allow both offline and online casinos. There has yet to be any precedence or law that prevents the legitimization of online gambling. This is not surprising as gambling not only brought in tourists and income, it is also indirectly brought in foreign investors, something that the Philippines are lacking. However, legal online gambling sites are limited to only foreigners while Filipinos can gamble away at any government owned sites.

With more Asian countries slowly opening up to the idea of an industry for legal gambling, it may not be long before Asia become the main port in gambling tourism. Even now, the Asia market is slowly increasing and more people are flocking over for an integrated experience – from traveling, sightseeing, and all the way to gambling.

Casino Games – Games of Chance for Asians – More Than Just A Game

Practically all the Asian countries at present consider or reconsider their views as regards the gambling games industry. In the first turn, it is connected with the fact that the profit obtained from a casino and other gambling establishments in those states where they are legalized is constantly growing which provides the budget with the necessary cash means and increases thus the tourist attractiveness of these countries.

Asians spend on games of chance approximately 14 milliard US dollars per year. It includes both a casino game and stakes for races, totalizators and lotteries as well as all sorts of illegal bets. In 2010 it is expected that they will spend 23 milliard US dollars annually. In the first place, interest in gambling games on the part of Asians is determined by their disposition, mentality of the nations. Playing a game of chance they not only try to win money – they check their luck, fortune, destiny. Fast-growing economics of Asian countries, swell in population (especially in China), growth of tourist activity are also responsible for growing demand for gambling games.

The state authorities are well aware of it all. The industry of gambling games is profitable for them not only as a revenue side of the budget as well as workplaces for citizens, additional attraction for tourists. Speaking of Macao, a Chinese enclave, where casinos are legal and are the authorities’ principal income, more than 10 million tourists who arrive with the main objective to play, spend money still not only on gambling entertainments but also on the rest of the related services. It is also a significant advantage for the state. Nowadays a lot of people are sure that if casinos should be legalized then they must be full-scale entertainment centers – with shops, movies, restaurants, exhibitions and etc.

Anxiety as regards social woes which somehow or other are a consequence of gambling games prevents statesmen from any steps in connection with revision of the law about gambling business. Some governments would like to reduce negative social influence by limiting access of local residents to casinos and locating casinos in remote areas. However, this, according to expert opinion, is not a way out of the situation, since venturesome Asians will simply play in clandestine gambling establishments.

Which does happen successfully in those countries where the harshest laws are established regarding gambling business. Or there is always an opportunity to get to a neighboring country and leave money there. Thailand is particularly illustrative here, casinos are prohibited there, so right at the border on the territory of neighboring Cambodia, about 20 casinos await venturesome Thais.

The supporters of legalization of casinos as well as other forms of gambling games state that people having problems with gambling games have actually got them. In fact, having legalized casinos the problems will come to the surface. And this, of course, is better than unawareness of what is going on.

To understand what influence gambling business has on the population a lot of Asian countries did research in the course of the recent years, representatives of authority went to world centers of entertainment such as Las-Vegas and Atlantic-City to get personally reassured in the necessity and inevitability of casinos’ legalization. The Asian market of gambling games is claimed by practically all the leading casinos’ operators. These include both companies which own mega resorts in Las-Vegas and European, South-African and Australian firms.

Japan Casinos

Japanese people love gambling and all kinds of games of chance, and although Japan casinos are not plentiful due to governmental regulation, gambling is very popular with Japanese and foreigners alike. The Japanese have a long history of gambling, often involving traditional games that are not known outside its borders, and furthermore, they love to bet on sporting events such as horseracing and baseball. Consequently, current political moves to liberalize the Japan casino industry are likely to place Japan at the forefront of the Asian gambling market.

One of the most popular games of chance in Japan is called pachinko, a game like pinball, which is played by millions of Japanese in “pachinko parlors” all through the country. Pachinko machines offer lucky winners the chance to exchange their tokens for goods or money on the premises, and trillions of yen are spent every year on this most popular of pastimes. Indeed, it is estimated that more money is generated by this game than several of Japan’s top car manufacturers combined.

Due to tight government legislation prohibiting casinos as such, Japan casinos are currently obliged to operate online, an industry which is fast growing into one of Asia’s biggest, and also on cruise ships and boats operating in international waters, thus circumventing the restrictions on land-based gambling. There are moves afoot to change the rules on gambling to allow Japan casinos to be established throughout the country, offering not just basic gambling facilities, but also operating as entertainment and retail malls in their own right. This will generate extra revenue and provide customers with a more satisfying leisure experience. Furthermore, many proponents of casino reform in Japan feel that liberalizing the rules on gambling would make the country even more attractive to tourists, especially considering the number of casinos operating in other countries in the Far East.

In addition to traditional forms of gambling, Japanese people love to wager on sporting events, and in particular on horse racing; big races can regularly attract huge crowds, sometimes in excess of 100,000. The Japanese also gamble on cycling and other sports such as soccer, and in addition, there is a government lottery that offers maximum prizes of around a billion yen. Consequently, there is already a thriving gambling scene in Japan, and with the anticipated changes in the rules, it is surely not long before Japan casinos find themselves at the forefront of the Asian gambling industry.

Why Asian Hotels Are Better Than European Hotels

There is great debate between travellers about the standards of hotels around the world. The debate is centred round whether European hotels offer the same value and level of accommodation as North America and Asia.

Now different people have different tastes when it comes to staying in a hotel or any type of accommodation away from home. Some people want everything to be like it is at home. Others value the cultural differences and expect accommodation to be different in other countries. And it also depends on what type of holiday experience you have in mind. The type of accommodation in a ski resort will be different to a beach front hotel in Waikiki. If you are on a European coach tour visiting several cities over a week you will encounter many hotels that are “pit stops” for the night. These hotels have been selected to fit in with the tour schedule and price. And there is nothing wrong with that as you are only “checked in” for the night and leave early the next morning.

However, if you are staying in a hotel for several days or longer you want to make sure you have selected a hotel that meets your requirements of location, accessibility, spaciousness, standard, quality and price. Every city around the world has good hotels and poor quality hotels so it is dangerous to generalise about the quality of accommodation across a continent.

Generally, people who have travelled the world agree that the standard of European hotels is not comparable to North America and Asia. Let’s compare.

American Hotels

Generally American hotels are larger hotels and part of a hotel chain whereas many European hotels are smaller family run hotels. Of course there are the large hotel chains in Europe, more hotels are becoming part of chains and new hotels are built.

American hotels have larger room sizes than comparable European hotels for the same or less money. There are often additional facilities like two queen beds, large bathrooms, kitchenettes and air conditioning. Price is one of the biggest differences between hotels on each side of the Atlantic. Some American cities, such as Las Vegas, have incredibly high standard hotels at very cheap rates. Now these hotels do make most of their money from the casino you have to navigate through before you get to your room. And that’s the trick, getting to your room with your wallet remaining in good health.

Another point that many world travellers say is that the restaurant meals in American hotels are larger and better value than in Europe. The quality of the food may vary but I would tend to agree with that too.

Asian Hotels

The main advantage with Asian hotels is that they are considerably less expensive than both American and European hotels for a comparable property. Even backpackers can afford to stay in good hotels in Asia whereas in Europe they are confined to sharing a dorm room with many other travellers.

Asian hotels tend to give much better value than their European equivalent. The average hotel size in Asia is relatively larger with many rooms. The room sizes are larger, bathrooms larger and newer. The facilities like pools and restaurants are usually better. World travellers have indicated they love to holiday in Asia because they can afford to stay in a hotel on the beach or one block from the beach. Dining out every night is inexpensive and makes a vacation more fun.

European Hotels

Unless you book a relatively expensive hotel, 4 or 5 star the standards are less than North America and Asia.

Many hotels in Europe are smaller, family run hotels. Many people find this type of accommodation has more charm and offers local hospitality over a large and sometimes impersonal hotel.

There have been many complaints about European hotels. Some people often complain about the small bathrooms with poor ventilation. Others complain about the poor linen, like in Italy where they give you those very thin towels that are like a small sheet. Others complain about the lack of views from the windows.

What Europe does have is the history and old world charm. Considering that when you are on holiday in Europe you won’t be spending much time in your hotel room – does it matter?

Well, yes it does matter. You have paid for a hotel room and you don’t want to have your European vacation spoilt by poor quality hotels where you don’t feel comfortable.

In many European cities, visitors are recommended to stay in a hotel outside the city centre and commute to the tourist attractions. These hotels tend to be newer, larger and comparable to hotels in the USA and Asia. This is not a problem in most European cities as their public transport infrastructure is very good with wide coverage and easy access to most parts of the city.

Asia Poker Tour – The Game of Poker in Asia

The game of poker is getting more popular in Asia nowadays. You can see more and more Asia poker sites being launched every day. Now, Asians are more interested in the poker industry and always seeking out opportunities to compete in poker tournaments.

There are many poker tournaments that are held in Asia, with the Singapore Asian Poker Tour (APT) being the most popular among them. The APT that is held in Singapore is a prelude to Singapore’s 2 new integrated resorts, with casinos being the main highlight of the place. This is the first casino in Singapore and I am sure that this latest initiative by the Singapore government will definitely drive the country’s economy forward and make Singapore a tourist attraction.

Other than Singapore, Macau is also fast becoming an attractive destination for poker players and Asia Poker Tour. After the liberalisation of Macau’s casino restrictions, it has now surpassed Las Vegas as the highest revenue generating gambling destination in the world. More Asians are rushing to Macau over the weekend to enjoy poker games and it definitely makes it an ideal place to hold any Asia Poker Tour. As Asia is populated by almost two thirds of the world’s population, it may be a wise choice to introduce more casinos in the Asia Pacific region.

In the States, there is an Unlawful Internet Gambling law which makes many companies in the US to restrict US citizens from gambling online. Therefore, in the next few years, you should be expecting these companies to aggressively market their poker rooms to other parts of the world like Australia, Asia, and Europe. As Internet has no physical boundary, anyone residing in Singapore, Australia or England can play poker online.

However, it is not always smooth sailing for Asia. As Asians are more conservative due to religions or beliefs, they may not be too receptive to poker. I believe it will take some time before Asians become more receptive to gambling and playing poker online.

As time passes by, the perception of poker will definitely change. Many people feel that poker should be seen as a sports rather than just gambling. Because to play well in poker, an individual needs to have a certain level of skill, and not only depend on the element of chance or luck to win a game. As you can see, more people are turning professional to play poker because they feel that they can influence the perception of the game through their skills.

But one thing for sure, you can be expecting more poker tournaments to be held around Asia. Poker is coming to Asia, and for those who does not get into this industry, it is something for them to lose.

Poker and Asia

Across the world, we see an explosion of the game of poker.

Australian Joe Hachem’s big 2005 WSOP win inevitably triggered increased interest in the game Down Under, and lifted the attention of people in the Asia Pacific towards poker. Those in the poker industry in established countries see the vast opportunity for bringing poker competitions to Asia.

Already Asia has, in the 6 months prior to the writing of this article, seen at least 3 new tournaments sprouting around the Asian continent. The most famous of these was the Asian Poker Tour held in Singapore.

The APT is a prelude to Singapore’s 2 new integrated resorts, of which casinos formed the highlight component. The integrated resorts are major commercial and residential property developments introduced by the Singapore Government’s as its latest initiative to drive the Singapore economy and to grow Singapore into a major tourist destination for the region.

But Singapore is not the only destination in Asia with a draw for the poker player’s dollar. Macau has, less than a decade after the liberalisation of its casino restrictions, recently surpassed the dominant Las Vegas as the highest revenue generating gambling destination in the world. Perhaps there are benefits to introducing casinos and poker to the Asian region still enjoying rapid economic growth and populated by some two thirds of the world’s population.

Singapore and Macau in the Asia Pacific are sure to provide many more opportunities to play poker in this region.

All the signs are that poker can be bigger here than it could ever be in Europe and North America. Indeed, with the recent passing of the Unlawful Internet Gambling Enforcement Act in the US, several major companies have adopted the policy of completely restricting US citizens from playing in the US. The result is that these companies are actively promoting their poker games to Europe, Australia, and soon, you will find, Asia as well. There are no borders in the internet and any individual sitting in Manchester, Melbourne or Macau can play poker online.

Asia will have its challenges in the development of this industry. Many countries are of conservative values or are still staunch in religions or beliefs and hence that may look poorly upon poker. Of course, the starting perception of poker is as part of gambling and betting and gaming.

However, these are no different from issues once faced by poker players in other continents. Indeed, the perception of poker worldwide is changing. There is argument that poker should be seen more as a sport due to the dominance of skill over the element of chance involved in poker. An increasing number of people do not turn professional to play roulette or other casino games – they turn professional to play poker because there are opportunities to influence the course of game with skill.