China, South Korea and Japan to Lead Asian Gaming Markets in the Years Ahead 

By  //  May 27, 2021

Three of the continent’s richest states – will drive the bulk of casino gaming activity in Asia in the years that follow. Recent reports show that punters from that trio of nations will merge for 80% of Asia Pacific’s total addressable market going forward. 

Experts say that gamblers from those regions are underserved in their home markets. For instance, it has recently approved integrated resorts, but gamblers complain those establishments are several years from opening, leaving traditional gaming forms la pachinko to dominate the Japanese market. South Korean casinos are primarily accessible to foreign visitors, while the only territory where gambling is permitted in China is Macau. 

Insights Surrounding the Online Casino Market In Japan 

When Japan’s highly expected initial trio of integrated resorts opens, it’s possible those venues may not drive a considerable increase in gaming opportunities among natives but rather will use up pachinko’s share of the market. That also means that the low-stake games will not be allowed in these IRs, but various forms of poker, blackjack, baccarat, pai gow, and the slot machine will be permitted.  

So far, Japanese punters relish in a variety of free casino games at Vera and John Casino, a performant and well-respected offshore operator. They find online platforms much more convenient due to safety and privacy reasons. As of IRs, Japan has yet to determine the location of the first three Japanese land-based casinos, though Yokohama, Osaka, and Nagasaki are amongst the front-leading contenders. Given the string of administrative delays and hitches, it’s unlikely Japan’s first IRs open before 2026 or 2027. 

Tokyo’s First eSports Gym Joins Others in Asia

Japan has recently opened its new gym for online gaming in Tokyo, a place for both novice and experienced gamers to train and get professional coaching. The first “Esports Gym” includes a lounge and gaming PCs equipped with some of Japan’s popular games like League of Legends and Valiant. 

Gaming enthusiasts can book a three-hour slot at one of the PCs for roughly $13 or select a monthly subscription of $50, which guarantees daily access to the gaming equipment as well as optional coaching programs for $24 an hour. 

Operated by Gecip, an esports education company and private transit company Tokyo Metro, Esports Gym welcomes players with experience as well as the novice who are new to gaming PCs. 

Competitive Gaming – A massive Global Industry

This year, global esports revenue is foreseen to exceed $1billion, and global audience for live-streamed games is predicted to reach 728.8 million, according to Newzoo

Asia has been driving the esports charge – the Asia-Pacific region alone accounts for 57% of global esports viewership in 2019. Japan’s first Esports Gym joins similar establishments that have recently opened in the continent. 

As millions of gamers play on their mobile phones and PCs, the industry lacks a professional approach. Japanese gamers need more places that not only provide a space for individuals and teams to train and compete but also for them to develop healthy habits that will stick as they chase successful esports careers. 

South Koreans don’t fail to surprise either. The country’s most loved esports team, T1- whose famous players is Faker – designed an arena-like space that appears to have been built to do just that, 

In the brand new Korean esports gym, over 70 professional gamers have access to English classes, on-site nutritionists, and a Nike-sponsored gym. 

China is also financing esports. A few months back, Shanghai built a 5.3 million-square-foot esports arena that’s foreseen to cost roughly $1billion. 

Asia’s Richest Countries Live in Each Other’s Pockets

Over the recent years, we’ve witnessed increased interest from casino operators across the wider gaming industry – IRs, online casinos, and lotto platforms – looking towards the market demand from the online casino environment in Japan as a burgeoning force. As reports show, land operators not only relate to the thoughts and habits of the Japanese population but foreigners too.

That proves that even in Japan – a country that seems to be homogenized – the audience is increasingly multi-segmented. Vera and John, an offshore operator, which is currently no1 online casino in Japan, says that foreign gamblers who look for trends – both in Asia and widely abroad take these trends and bring them back to their own home markets. 

As such, if something cool takes place in Japan, it should happen at home too and otherwise. If something is credible in China or South Korea, it can be credible at home too. 

Shanghai’s recently built esports events hub proves that the country isn’t willing to lose its position and pushes to become the leader in competitive gaming. The 8.5-billion-yuan esports hub is designed for both sports teams and lucrative companies that will maintain its position as a global esports center.

Other Asia Angles

Over the near term, market research experts believe that Asian countries with the most committed domestic punters and gamers will recover more rapidly from the effect of the pandemic than destination markets. Overall, they see the Asia-pacific region’s gaming numbers plumbing next year due to repressed demand from mass-market punters. 

With Japan’s first integrated resorts still years away from becoming a reality, South Korea remains a compelling market for the casino resort, despite the legalization of Japanese IRs. According to experts, over 700 million people and some of the biggest cities in the world, all three hours of both Japan and Korea represents an ample demand to support the development of IRs in both countries. 

So far, the Asian market, with all its ins and outs, is considered one of the most promising regions for gambling development and promotions worldwide. The high population and great demand are some of the reasons, but the newest regulations have also positively influenced China, Japan, and South Korea towards partial or complete legalization of the gambling environment.