The rise and rise of online gambling in Southeast Asia

by , Dec 22, 2015 | 2:42 am

With 132 million current players within the South East Asia market, game developers are seriously considering porting their games over in order to make some serious cash. And in a few years the market is expected to double to 1.2 billion, and that’s if it doesn’t surpass that number beforehand. This includes areas in Indonesia, Singapore, Thailand, Vietnam, the Philippines and Malaysia. More hardcore players are signing up than ever before, and it may be due to the incredible growth of the smartphone market. The funny thing about the stat is that it doesn’t include client-based desktop gambling.

“Southeast Asia is poised for significant mobile growth by 2019 with smartphone subscriptions increasing five folds, and mobile data traffic experiencing 1000% growth rate,” said an M88 spokesperson.

So what is the ceiling for this growth? Well, there isn’t one. That became clear when Vietnam lifted its ban on new game licenses, a move that spurred growth in that particular area. Internet cafes are still all the rage in the South East Asia market and are enjoying similar success thanks to the rise and rise of online gambling. Out of all the regions mentioned, the one that is expected to grow the fastest is Indonesia. Their online gambling culture could potentially surpass all the others in the next 5 years, due to a combination of access and customer interest. Thailand is considered the most overpopulated market, with a lot of developers choosing to localize in Thai before any other language.

If you look outside the realm of online gambling and focus on online gaming, in South East Asia alone there are 85 million players that spent $661 million dollars last year. If some of those players can be converted over to the gambling market (some already do both) then it could really mark the fastest growth in a market to occur in history. But even if those players don’t get converted, the online gambling will continue to be a dominant fixture in the South East Asia economy. Expect more game developers to continue catering to the current market in order to get more players involved. This also includes better algorithms with the online gambling system to deter cheaters.

South East Asia is going to be the source of a lot of innovation when it comes to online gambling. This is not just the beginning of something good, it is the middle of something great.


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