Thursday October 3,2013 : ASIAN MARKETS ARE CONSIDERING ONLINE GAMBLING OPTIONS
Singapore and Thailand may be taking the first steps on the road to regulation.
The publication Gaming Asia reports that online gambling is appearing on the political agenda in Singapore and Thailand.
Singapore Second Minister for Home Affairs, S. Iswaran, recently announced that the government is studying measures to regulate online gambling, whilst a proposal to reform Thailand’s gambling laws to accommodate modern and pervasive genres like internet gambling has encountered heavy resistance but is still a live issue.
Gaming Asia quotes Global Betting and Gaming Consultants estimates that internet gambling in Singapore will grow from US$342 million in 2012 to US$519 million by 2017. Yet despite this strong growth, current gambling laws in the country make no specific mention of the online genre, creating an uncertain legal "grey" environment that needs to be addressed.
The Singapore government is approaching the issue in a cautious, professional manner, and has called for a study by year-end before moving forward.
Meanwhile a large number of offshore online casino and sports betting operators continue to access a very keen and willing market
In Thailand, gambling is restricted , with wagering only permitted through the state lottery or at the Royal Bangkok Sports Club in terms of a law passed in 1935.
The government of Prime Minister Yingluck Shinawatra proposed reforms in parliament two years ago, hoping to modernise and broaden the country's gambling laws, but various elements of its proposal have triggered stiff political opposition.
In the meantime, a massive underground gambling market – currently estimated to be worth around $3.3 billion – has developed to service growing public demand for betting opportunities.