Online Gambling Reach Soars Globally, Forecasts High Growth in Asia and US Despite Strict Regulations


For a good part of two decades, the phenomenon of online gambling has held a prominent place in global internet culture. When it first emerged alongside the internet’s rise to global ubiquity, the industry was primarily an uncontrolled and often unsafe arena. Things are significantly different now, with legal and thoroughly regulated online gambling platforms operating on a worldwide scale, offering unprecedented safety to players and as many gambling options as one could wish for.

However, it’s not all sunshine and roses. The global acceptance of online gambling is not equal. Some countries embrace its thriving industry with responsible gambling initiatives that ensure it remains a means of entertainment. Conversely, others have banned online gambling or imposed restrictions due to taxation or various other reasons.

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An examination of the world’s online gambling landscape in 2023 reveals current laws, regulations, trends, and potential future trajectories.

A pertinent geographic angle is Asia, a market that has shown an intriguing predilection for gambling ventures. This fondness especially rings true in China and its neighboring countries. Ironically, several of these countries, including China, have imposed a blanket ban on online gambling. The prohibitions, often driven by cultural and religious considerations, significantly impede the Asian online gambling market’s growth.

Despite this restrictive atmosphere, the iGaming industry is surging forward, spearheaded by countries like Japan, South Korea, and the Philippines. Several online gambling operators, such as UFABET, now offer myriad gambling services. Moreover, a rising number of secure online gambling sites enable Asian players to deposit and play using local currencies and payment methods. These practices have resulted in an exponential rise of online sports betting, casino games, and poker in Asia, and analysts predict record-breaking years for Asian online gambling operators in 2024 and 2025.

Jumping continents, we find the United States—a nation with a tumultuous history with online gambling. Once the country of the carpet ban on online gambling, the Supreme Court’s 2018 decision to overthrow the PASPA, the law prohibiting online gambling, marked a significant turning point. The ruling handed power to individual states to regulate online gambling activities within their borders.

This autonomy triggered a surge in online gambling as players, now granted legal and safe online gambling options, took up betting in droves. Currently, as many as 24 states permit legal online sports betting, while online casinos and poker are legal in seven and six states, respectively.

In the absence of a classic online casino license in many states, innovative alternatives have flowered. Sweepstakes casinos offer players the chance to win Sweepstakes Coins that can be exchanged for real money rewards at the end of the day. These unconventional casinos have gained enormous popularity and have been growing at an exponential rate.

Drifting to Europe, we find a trend towards local regulation of online gambling. International licensed online casinos and sportsbooks were the go-to options for European online gamblers. However, the wind is changing. Local jurisdictions are enforcing stricter regulations, and players are increasingly being encouraged to use locally regulated sites. Despite these changes, the European online gambling market continues to grow, thanks to innovative promotions and trends like fantasy sports.

Overall, the global interest in secure and regulated online gambling has never been higher. Countries worldwide are taking this industry seriously, indicating continued growth potential for the industry. The markets of the US and Asia, in particular, are predicted to experience significant growth. As regulations tighten and markets segment, the global online gambling scene is more attractive and safer than ever for would-be virtual punters. Despite the challenges facing specific gambling verticals like online poker, the investment in safe, responsible online gambling promises a less hazardous environment for all stakeholders.