Adelson Sparks Debate Over Asian Online GamblingPublished June 27, 2013 by OCR Editor
Las Vegas Sands Corp chairman says Asian online gambling won't be legalized.
Many land-based gambling operators recognize the benefits of entering the online gambling arena, but others are running scared if Las Vegas Sands Chairman Sheldon Adelson's opinion piece in Forbes magazine last week is any indication.
Adelson on the Attack
Adelson went on the attack in Forbes, calling online gambling "fool's gold", and detailing all the arguments against its legalization. While the article mainly focused on the American market, he also turned to Asia, saying that "online gambling doesn'texist" there "and won't be legalized soon, if ever."
Given that the majority of LVS casino profits come from its ventures in Asia, namely those in Macau - which supplied 53% of its $3.79 billion earning last year," and Singapore - you would think that Sheldon knows what he is talking about. But it seems he overlooked many of the online casinos that not only exist but are prospering in various Asian markets.
Asian Online Gambling Legality
Macau, Hong Kong, Singapore, Philippines, South Korea, Taiwan and Thailand are just a few of the markets in Asia where online gambling is either completely legal or permitted in a restricted manner.
In the Philippines, online gambling has been deemed completely legal. Hong Kong and Macau benefit from their status as special administrative regions of China, and online gambling is offered there in abundance. In Taiwan, it hasn't been officially banned. In Singapore it is legal but strictly regulated. In Korea and Thailand, there are no licenses for local operators, but locals are able to access offshore online gambling platforms.
Spotlight on Singapore and Philippines
Singapore has seen a gambling boom in recent years thanks to land-based ventures such as Adelson's Marina Sands, but the online casino community is prospering too. Most of the leading operators are accessible form the city-state, including William Hill Casino, Winner Casino and more.
In the Philippines too, locals can enjoy the best of the world's top online casinos, free from the sort of prohibitive laws that Adelson seems to think exist. Some of the most popular Filipino online casinos include Royal Vegas, Platinum Play and All Slots Casino.