Michael Charlton, Asia Pacific Director for Entain, says that there are fascinating markets in Asia for sports betting as countries move out of the black and grey space and into a more highly-regulated environment which can attract bigger, established companies.
Speaking at the ASEAN Gaming Summit, Michael Charlton noted the possibilities in possible upcoming markets – such as Thailand, and improvements in other regional markets such as Vietnam and Myanmar.
Challenges still exist for the expansion of sports betting within Asia, with Charlton pointing to examples such as religious factors and political issues regionally which could potentially limit the industry’s development.
Regarding the future of sports betting in Asia, the speaker noted that, compared to the developed and regulated market in Europe or the United States, Asian countries are still waiting for a chance to be regulated, which really depends on different circumstances in each potential market.
And while each market will require its own individual legislation to achieve proper regulation, up to 80 percent of such legislation could be largely applied to all the regions, with countries only needing to iron out the remaining 20 percent that is specific to each of its needs.
Entain itself has pulled out of unregulated markets as it aims to focus on regulated market opportunities – such as the huge growth in sports betting in the United States.
Regarding Asia, Charlton points out that a domino effect would result from increasing regulation, as the successes of each region are viewed by neighboring regions, allowing for more and more Asian countries to follow suit.