As the largest continent in both mass and population, Asia is the birthplace of many diverse cultures. From booming India and China to post-colonial Thailand and Indonesia, the continent has something to offer to everyone. For the gambling enthusiast, it is vital to learn the laws of the lands before planning a vacation or business trip. While some countries embrace the revenue and fun that casino games can bring to the country, others penalize them severely for religious or cultural reasons.
If your primary goal is to mix with the locals, you may be disappointed. Many Asian casinos have strict policies designed to keep natives out of the grounds. In Singapore, it is only legal for foreigners to enter casinos. In Thailand, many resorts charge exorbitant fees for any non-tourists who want to enter. While the casinos will still be staffed by locals, your fellow players will mainly be foreign tourists. Of course, it’s always possible to find an underground casino full of locals, but it will be difficult to navigate if you don’t speak the local language.
Macau is one of the best known destinations for Asian casino games, due to its high-class resorts and location near China. Due to the regular influx of Chinese and Hong Kong tourists, Macau has had the funding to build a gambling empire. Recent development includes the biggest casino in the world, the Venetian Macao, and the City of Dreams casino. Plans to further develop the Cotai Strip are already in the works, with several more mega-casinos in construction. Greyhound racing is also a popular form of gambling, and unlike other Asian countries, gambling is open to all residents and tourists. You’ll be able to find English-speaking staff, but expect to be surrounded by Cantonese.
Macau is one of the few areas that has fully legalized gambling. In many other countries gambling is illegal, even for tourists, and can lead to fines or imprisonment. If you plan on traveling to a Muslim country, expect that gambling will not be legal there. Even less religious countries like Japan and Thailand do not allow most forms of gambling, although there are rumors that this will be changing for economic reasons. Given the range of cultures present in Asia, it is no surprise that this massive continent is home to both the best and the worst places for casino games.