China and the future of gambling
According to market research Asia is online gambling’s best bet for a varying number of reasons. The most important being that Asia is experiencing strong economic growth and middle class Asians have emerged as a new buying market in the field of entertainment. As a result, online casinos have understandably turned their glance towards the Asian market.
Asia is a melting pot as far as gambling and online gambling is concerned. The most interesting and potentially profitable country is of course the Peoples Republic of China (PRC) whose complex relationship with gambling has a long history and a very profitable one! The Chinese have largely been responsible for introducing gambling to the world thanks to their influence on the development of both cards and dice.
Gambling in Modern China
Gambling on China’s mainland is not permitted, but this has not stopped its citizens from gambling by any stretch of the imagination. In fact, it has spawned an incredible £900 million per year industry garnered from street corners, underground casinos and unofficial lotteries in the country side. This amount is staggering if one considers that 700 million people, more than half the population reside in rural areas living on £415 a year. What is abundantly clear is that the people of China love to gamble.
There are however valid ways for the Chinese to play outside of the Mainland and Macau is the primary destination for all those who want to enjoy a little legal gambling. Situated very close to the mainland it was at one stage a Portuguese colony, but these days it is considered the gambling Mecca of Asia. In fact, the gambling industry here is doing so well that it is going head to head with Las Vegas and winning – trumping Vegas by over £7 billion in profit during 2010.
A quick note: Two thirds of Macau’s patrons are Chinese, but the Chinese government has placed restrictions on the amounts of visits its citizens can make by limiting them to one visit every 3 months.