As part of a new probe into the global iGaming industry and the Asian Racing Federation has reportedly announced that it believes up to 61% of online gambling domains are effectively operating illegally with junkets fuelling a large part of their growth.
According to a report from Asia Gaming Brief, the 94-page examination from the pan-Asian horseracing organization analyzed 534 online casino and sportsbetting domains in 61 jurisdictions and found that less than 40% were actually licensed and regulated in their home territories. The source explained that this means the majority are effectively operating illegally and taking advantage of the many ‘grey markets’ that exist from Beirut to Brisbane.
The investigation from the Asian Racing Federation reportedly looked at 262 iGaming domains that had chalked up over one million visitors a month for the two years to the end of December while additionally reviewing 93 randomly-selected sites. To round out its scrutiny and the body purportedly also inspected 179 services that had been included on a list of websites previously identified as potentially illegal.
In terms of jurisdictions and the Asian Racing Federation reportedly disclosed that the Philippines, Curacao and Malta were responsible for nearly two-thirds of the domains it determined to be operating in other territories illegally. The group purportedly determined that Curacao took the lion’s share of this tally with 31% followed by Malta at 18% and the Philippines with 13%.
Reportedly read a statement from the Asian Racing Federation…
“Philippines-licensed operators target bettors in Asia where online betting is largely illegal or heavily restricted. Since Asian illegal betting is estimated by some to account for as much as 80% of the market, Philippines ‘licensed’ operators facilitate a large proportion of global illegal betting.”
The examination from the Asian Racing Federation moreover reportedly found that the global iGaming industry is growing significantly with the number of aggregated visits for 2021 having swelled by 37% year-on-year to top 39.75 billion. The probe purportedly furthermore determined that the majority of these at 76% involved sites it considered appropriately licensed and regulated although the remaining 24% encompassed domains that were either under-regulated at 6.78 billion visits or completely unregulated at 2.67 billion visits.
The Asian Racing Federation reportedly also bemoaned its belief that junket operators are fuelling the growth of illicit iGaming across the planet’s largest continent by investing in platforms and diverting punters who would normally visit land-based gambling operations. It purportedly finished by asserting that China’s recent crackdown on online gambling and the flow of capital overseas may have even had the unintended consequence of helping to exacerbate the problem by pushing junkets into diversifying their businesses and focussing more on illicit online gambling services.
The statement from the Asian Racing Federation reportedly read…
“As casinos and junkets have been severely impacted by the coronavirus pandemic, it is highly likely that casino customers have migrated to online betting and gambling. For their part, the junkets have been compensating for the loss of revenues in their physical casino businesses by diversifying across Asia with casino investments in other countries as well as further investments in online betting and gambling.”