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Macau and Online Gambling in Asia

February 26, 2010 (CAP Newswire) – With all the recent news about online gambling laws, regulations, and general market patterns in the U.S. and Europe, it’s easy to forget about another global online casino market that’s been growing at an incredible rate: With numbers that rival the U.S. market, Asia may soon prove to be the world’s biggest online gambling destination. And the center of gambling in Asia is Macau.

Macau is a Special Administrative Region within the larger nation of China, part of China but also a separate entity with its own laws. It’s a very prosperous region, with thriving industries such as electronics, tourism, toys — and gambling, which is estimated to generate up to 75 percent of Macau’s government tax revenue, according to Bloomberg News.

Called the “Monte Carlo of the Orient,” Macau is the world’s largest gambling destination, according to Reuters news. Recent slumps in Vegas stocks like MGM Mirage have been offset by jumps in earnings in Macau, for example. As of now, most of that revenue is in land-based casinos, but the market for online gambling is making big strides, as well.

In the late ’90s, Internet gambling started to compete with Macau’s land-based casinos. It still doesn’t bring in the same kind of enormous numbers as Macau’s land-based casinos, but the audience is certainly there, and it’s growing In China, online gambling is strictly prohibited, so a lot of online gambling entrepreneurs are heading to Macau. And some neighboring Asian countries have more liberal attitudes, too. As of now, many Asians visit Macau to gamble; but, as with America’s shift from Vegas and Atlantic City to Internet gambling, there is certainly potential for all those customers to start gambling more heavily online.

“Operators of gambling Web sites have long viewed Asia as the promised land, believing that widespread prohibitions there have created a vast reservoir of pent-up demand for their borderless product,” writes MSNBC. That article also cites the difficulty of moving money across international borders, a problem even electronically, as the main burden for expansion in Internet gambling.

For International online gambling affiliates, there’s a lot of research to be done to find out what niche may be most profitable in Asian markets. But that isn’t as hard as it seems: Macau and Asia have become the new hotspots for international online gambling conferences, as well, and a bit of investment in travel may go a long way towards taking advantage of the huge strides the Asian online gambling market is making.  

As the just-concluded iGaming Asia Congress in Macau and the upcoming AiG Congress and iGaming Expo in the Philippines are showing, interest in the Asian markets is exploding, and that’s all centered around Macau. In June, G2E Asia will also hit Macau, and next month’s iGB DownUnder is expanding from a focus on Australia to also include Asia and New Zealand in order to help meet this demand. For those online gambling affiliate marketers interested in learning about how to expand into Asian markets, iGB DownUnder and these other Asian-focused conferences should certainly provide some valuable networking, informational, and investment opportunities.