A study from 2020 placed the Asia-Pacific region as the largest online gambling market in the world. According to the study, 38% of all online gambling in the world takes place in this region. Asia has second-place North America beat by a significant margin as North America accounts for 29% of the global gaming sector. Even though a lower percentage of Asians gamble, it’s the region’s enormous population that more than makes up for it.
Since the advent of the Bitcoin, cryptocurrencies and Decentralized Finance in general have taken the world by storm. The surge in crypto users has resulted in the emergence of hundreds of crypto-friendly online casinos and sportsbooks. In fact, some are exclusively crypto platforms.
There are a multitude of reasons why operators would take the cryptocurrency route – and this includes real money casinos. Bar the fact that digital currency is fast replacing its fiat counterpart at an unprecedented rate. It’s undeniably the way forward in various facets of people’s lives. For starters, there are aspects of anonymity, security, swift transactions and low fees – all factors any customer would appreciate no matter what or when they’re transacting.
According to the direct of Fast Offshore, Ron Mendelson, Asian consumers have quickly identified the perks of using crypto coins for the purpose of gambling. Mendelson thinks that crypto gambling, virtual reality, augmented reality and artificial intelligence are going to be the technologies of the future as far as online gaming is concerned, and it is hard to disagree with that view.
Why use Crypto for Online Gambling?
There are several reasons why online gambling has become a popular application of crypto coins. For instance, crypto casino operators can provide their products and services to players in the region even though certain jurisdictions may have banned online gambling. By using crypto, transactions are peer to peer and players can circumvent the approval process from their banks (in certain areas, the banks would decline all transactions associated with an offshore gaming provider).
With crypto, the power is in the hands of the player, and they can use their money however they want, no government or bank gets to say what one can or cannot do with their money. In fact, this is also one of the main reasons why many traditional fiat-currency based online casinos have also onboarded support for crypto in recent years.
Since Asian consumers, with the help of crypto, can choose any offshore crypto gaming provider, it entails that they have many more options to choose from. Chinese players, for instance, can sign up and game with offshore crypto gaming sites by using coins like Bitcoin, Ethereum, Litecoin, Doge, etc. Since crypto works on blockchain which is decentralized, the identity of the stakeholders involved in each transaction is obscured, thus providing unparalleled privacy and anonymity to online gamblers.
Within the Asia-pacific region, one of the biggest markets is India. Here, except for a few states, online gambling is allowed through the nation. In a country of nearly one and a half billion people, the market has enormous potential despite the government planning to tax online gaming providers at much higher rates. Additionally, the 5G infrastructure is just coming to realization in the country and the emerging middle class has also resulted in a booming smartphone market. So, mobile casino gaming with the use of crypto is set to become the next big thing in gaming in the years ahead.
Why States are Starting to Regulate Online Gaming?
Cryptocurrency gaming is still mostly unregulated in other parts of Asia. However, as more governments understand the potential of this booming business, the general perspective may shift in the near future.
If governments decide to ban online gambling in all its forms, it simply is not an effective solution since players can easily play at offshore online casinos by masking their IP addresses and using crypto currencies where banks are not involved in the transactions. Instead, leaders have realized that by regulating the market, they can not only control in much more close quarters, but they also stand to earn hundreds of millions in tax revenue.
By legalizing and regulating online gambling, governments can lay down rules as to who can gamble, where they can gamble and more. On the other hand, a blanket prohibition will only lead to a massive grey market over which the authorities have no control and money only flows out of the country since most providers tend to be based offshore.
If we look at the case of India for example, most states in the country have allowed online gambling and are now looking at coming up with higher tax rates for online gambling activities in order to boost the economy of the country. The government may also, in the future, be able to access and identify problem gamblers and restrict their accounts and help them find the professional help they need to get over their gambling addictions. What’s more? A regulated market can create millions of new jobs which further bolsters the economy.
As far as sports betting is concerned, whether it is regulated or not, a good portion of the cricket-crazy populace in India is going to bet on cricket matches, be it legally or through an illicit bookie. By legalizing the practice and offering sensible odds for various bet markets, it could actually reduce the possibility of something like match fixing since any involved in such practices now face a higher risk of being exposed.