Malaysia and Dubai Emerge as Attractive Expansion Markets: Here's Why

Lee R. - December 24, 2020

Governments that are strict on gambling can still be good places to get licenses.

As iGaming takes a larger share of the gambling market new markets filled with promise are emerging as fertile areas to expand into.

Malaysia and Dubai

Two locations on the near horizon set to emerge as major industrial hubs include Malaysia and Dubai as direct solutions for the rising costs of doing business in nearby Philippines.

Costly PGO turnoff

The costs associated with the POGO system of licensing in the Philippines was specifically identified in an Asia Briefing Webinar by Cherry Interactive GM Danny Too as the basis for operators to look to Malaysia and Dubai markets.

Malaysia's Appeal

According to Too, Malaysia is highly navigable despite traditionally strict anti-online gambling laws:

“The key thing is that you get the permission of the federal government. You can get a place to work and a license from one of the states but you need to go through the central government to go ahead. From the government point of view, it’s just a BPO and as long as the games are not being offered in Malaysia, the government is happy to bring in these operators.”

Compliance Necessary for Benefits

In effect, the Malaysian government is at the federal level hospitable to licensing operators to work within a fertile economic landscape as long as laws against serving players in Malaysia proper are respected.

Dubai's Global Appeal

The famously global city of Dubai is reportedly increasing in appeal because of its existing large expat workforce and status as a major international business hub climate which is fertile for attracting iGaming operators to diversify and boost revenues even further.

Chinese Operators in Dubai?

Too disclosed that an undisclosed number of Chinese operators are currently exploring Dubai as a solution in the ongoing quest to get out from under the iron rule of China’s government—even when iGaming is prohibited for people in Dubai themselves.


In effect, just because operators cannot serve Malaysian or Dubai players does not mean that those jurisdictions are not attractive places to gain licenses to serve those whom the governments do not prohibit from playing—and this complexity is becoming less costly to address than absorb otherwise exorbitant costs for continuing operations in other nearby regional hubs.



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