When you mention card games and gambling to practically anyone, the first things that pops into their mind is the ever popular game of poker. In Asia however, poker seems to be popping up on everybody’s mind lately. In fact, both in gambling halls as well as online, poker has seen a dramatic rise in Asia recently as the amount of people playing for real money has increased steadily. Indeed, they’re gambling larger and larger sums of money as the demand for poker in Asia, as well as in the Pacific region as a whole, increases.
This dramatic rise in poker is leading some experts to predict that, by 2015, Asia’s poker community could be the dominant force in the world, even bigger than the United States. It’s only prediction to be sure, but it’s backed up by statistics that are steadily rising and, between now and 2015, poker playing is expected to rise nearly 10% in Asia as a whole.
One of the top poker playing locations in all of Asia is Macau, which is really not a huge surprise when you consider that they are already world-renowned for gambling and have the capabilities of some of the best casinos on the planet. Indeed, for quite a while experts have been saying that Macau will eventually become the gambling capital of the world, upsetting the mighty Las Vegas and several online poker companies such as M88 Indonesia and Sbobet.
When it was transferred from British to Chinese control in the late 1990s, Hong Kong was already being influenced by millions of gamblers. The problem was that gambling is banned under Chinese law but, under a unique status that was granted them after the transfer of power, poker is in full swing in Hong Kong. Indeed, thanks to the way it was set up when they were transferred to Chinese rule, Hong Kong has a number of special licenses that other countries in the Pacific and Far East covet with quite a bit of jealousy.
Although it’s technically not classified as being in Asia but rather in Oceana, if Australia is added into the mix the market for poker expands exponentially. In fact, 60% of all gaming revenue in Australia comes from poker as opposed to the 4% of gaming revenue collected from the game across Asia.
One market that would blow the lid off of poker would be China, if it were to permit the game to be played in their country of course. In fact, they would almost overnight have an unbeatable poker market that would practically trump all the others combined. For the time being however, Macau and Hong Kong, as well as a number of other Asian countries, will have to suffice.