A Vast Continent With Some Very Unique Gambling Laws – Read our Guide to Online Casinos in Asia
Asia loves a gamble and has done for centuries, so it was no real surprise when online casinos were introduced just a few years ago. Asian history is rich with gambling connections. It was the Chinese who invented Keno when a state run lottery was started in order to finance the building of the Great Wall. Ancient India, with its many different kingdoms, has tales of those that were won and lost on a roll of the dice. European casino games also have their place in the history of gambling of course, and as the two continents gambling industries merged we find ourselves left with the modern versions of games such as Pai Gow, blackjack, baccarat and craps. Any modern online casino you visit today will offer a range of different games that have their roots in both Europe and Asia.
Online casinos looking for the lion’s share are aiming their sites at the Asian market
As you all know the continent of Asia is massive. It actually accounts for almost 60% of the world’s population. And with gambling being such a popular pastime, it’s no wonder online casino operators are setting their sights on Asia. For a resident of any Asian country it can be very confusing as there are some very unique gambling laws. Obviously a resident of China is going to want an online casino Asia that has a website that supports the right Chinese language. Anyone who lives in Vietnam is going to want a casino that accepts Vietnamese Dong. and residents of other Asian countries are going to want an Asia online casino that is able to cater to their specific needs. For the time being we’re going to concentrate our attention on Asia in general, and help you find an Asia online casino that’s able to cater to your requirements. In time we hope to be able to offer more country specific information. We’ll start by explaining how we choose the Asia casino online that feature in our list. And then, if we’ve got time, you can enjoy a short history lesson.
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What we check when we write our Asia casino online reviews
For anyone looking for an Asia online casino there are plenty of choices. With so many residents keen on gambling many of the top rated casinos we review have the Asian market in their sites. It’s no wonder so many players feel completely overwhelmed. And this is why we’ve created this website. To help players find the best site possible. We base our casino reviews on a number of different criteria and these will also help you to gain an insight into how they operate, the gameplay and experience each of the offer. Site security is one of the most important criteria we look at. But we also consider software, payment options, bonuses and promotions and mobile compatibility.
Safety and security
Safety and security is something we take very seriously. Not just for a casino online Asia, but for all the online casino sites we review. The first place we look is at the casinos licence and certification. We check whether the casino is regulated by a well-respected organisation and whether it’s been audited by a trusted body such as eCOGRA. Next we consider the software that’s used for the games. There are hundreds of software developers, some of which are better known than others. We try to find casinos that use reliable software such as NetEnt, Microgaming and Playtech. For your protection we also check whether the site uses 128-bit SSL encryption. Which is the best protection currently available. Once all the security measures have been verified we move on to the next criteria.
Bonuses and promotions
While this is not such an important criteria it will certainly improve the experience if there are bonuses and promotions to take advantage of. These can, however, be a double-edged sword as they will always come with certain terms and conditions. No casino is going to give away free cash without expecting something in return. And that tends to mean you’ll have to keep playing.
Payment methods and customer support
There are a number of casinos at which you can play for free, but eventually you’re going to want to make a deposit. And hopefully withdraw some of your winnings. This is why payment methods are something we look at when we write our reviews. We consider the deposit methods available and what the requirements are in order to qualify for any bonuses. Our research includes finding out how quickly payments can be made and whether the process runs smoothly. We’ve got to say that we tend to find a lot of customer comments regarding making payments. But many of negative ones are a result of the player not reading the terms and conditions properly and failing to meet them. As well as payment options we also check on the response of the casino’s customer support. We’ll ask various questions using a variety of different methods in order to gauge the response times and level of knowledge. We like it when we receive swift replies and the agents are friendly and helpful.
A good variety of games is vital
Many people who visit an online casino will have a preference when it comes to different games. Some will enjoy a few hands of blackjack. While others will prefer to spin the roulette wheel or roll the dice. Rather than just concentrating on one type of game we try and keep you informed of all the options that are available. We’ll look at the different game types, including mobile games, live dealer games, video poker, slots, keno, baccarat, blackjack and any others that might be available. Part of the process of checking out the games will be to see if they can be played using different devices. After all, not everyone will want to play at the casino when sat at home. An increasing number of players now use mobile devices so casino games can be enjoyed anywhere. On the subject of games, let’s take a look at some of the popular casino games that have Asian origins.
Online casino games with Asian origins
There are plenty of gambling games enjoyed across the Asian continent. But not all of them made it to online casinos. Games like the Chinese Fan Tan and Pai Gow, India’s Andar Bahar and Thailand’s Bpauk Daeng are just a few examples. There are a number of Asian gambling games that are played at many online casinos in Asia. for example:
- Mahjong – this game originates from China and was invented more than 2500 years ago. It is one of the most popular games played today in China, but also in Singapore, Korea, Hong Kong, Taiwan, Japan and Malaysia. Technically, it’s not really considered to be a true casino game but can be played online in a number of different formats.
- Baccarat – this is the most popular game played in Asia and in Macau accounts for more than 90% of all gambling revenue. All Asian online casinos will offer this game, often in a number of different formats, including one called commission free baccarat. Also available are live dealer baccarat games.
- Sicho – this is another popular game in Macau but also in the Philippines where it’s known as hi-lo. Chinese immigrants took the game to America in the 20th century where is has become very popular.
- Pachinko – this is a popular Japanese game and while it can’t be found online there are a couple of online casino games which are very similar.
- Pai Gow Poker – Pai Gow is a Chinese domino game and in its purest form can’t be found very often online. But there is a poker version of the game which has proved to be very popular.
Many of the games we’ve mentioned have a deep-rooted history. Which brings us nicely round to looking at the history of gambling and casinos in Asia.
Online casinos in Asia and the history of casino games
Gambling has been a popular pastime for centuries and today it is still winning new enthusiasts on a daily basis. It seems like it’s ingrained in our modern society, but has it always been this way? Let’s look at how it all started and how gambling and casinos have developed throughout the years. But in particular we’ll be looking at Asia and how gambling has affected the people who live there and society in general. The actual beginning of gambling is a little hazy but some claim it started as early as 3000 – 4000 BC. Many of today’s modern casino games can be traced back to Ancient China. One of the oldest games was called ‘wei-qi’. It was played on a square board that had a grid of nineteen lines. The pieces were made of stone and it was actually used as a divination tool. Another modern day game that comes from early China is baccarat. But back then it was known as baak ga lok in Cantonese. Much of the gambling that takes place in Asia, at least that of any significance, actually comes from China. It’s not known exactly how they were developed but there’s evidence of the earliest playing cards around 1200 AD. And in 700 BC Chinese dominoes were being used to play gambling games. In spite of these early games, gambling has actually been illegal in China for many years, apart from a few special areas. And it’s these special zones that make the history of gambling in Asia rather interesting. Shanghai is one example of a special zone. Its International Settlement was where it was possible to play roulette along with a selection of other casino games, back in the 1800s. And this continued until the early 1900s. There was also a French Concession in the city where gambling on jai alai games was allowed. Another Special Administrative Region, known as Hong Kong, had different rules than the rest of China for many years. While it was in the hands of the British it was possible to gamble on horse racing and certain other sports as well as entering into lottery draws. Macau, is another special area with similar circumstances as it belonged to the Portuguese until 1999, when it was handed back to China. Today, it is the only place in China where it is legal to gamble in a casino. Right up until 2002, one single company had the monopoly. But after 2002,, things changed and outsiders were allowed in. Macau has played an important part in the history of gambling in Asia. ever since the decision was made to allow outside companies in it has broken some pretty big records. For example, by 2006 it had beaten cities such as Las Vegas in terms of gambling revenue. It’s popularity as a gamblers paradise is still increasing and getting stronger by the day. As more and more venues are opened, allowing players from all over the world to come and experience the thrill of gambling.
So is gambling legal in Asia?
Basically, the answer has to be no. we’ve researched many of the countries that make up this vast continent. And while it seems that online casinos are targeting this market, online gambling for the large majority of Asians is actually illegal. It seems that many Asians choose to take the risk and gamble online because there aren’t all that many prosecutions. Couple that with the fact that the online marketplace is so vast it can be difficult to police, it’s no wonder so many happily run the risk of large fines and possible imprisonment in order to chase a win. Any of you reading this article that happens to live in one of the many Asian countries we’d advise you not to run the risk. Yes there are profits to be made but at what cost? Losing your liberty or everything you own simply on the off chance you might win a game or two really isn’t worth it.