Asia is full of countries where the local population enjoys an occasional flutter. Even those that traditionally have unfavourable laws, often a blanket ban. Macau was, until recently, the world’s largest gambling economy, dwarfing the amount of cash flowing through the casinos of Nevada. But even through its struggles, it remains the showpiece destination for gamblers in the continent.
The Philippines and Cambodia also have more than their fair share of casinos, and India is cricket-mad even with betting on the sport banned. But what about other places in the region?
Malaysia and Singapore aren’t thought of as typical gambling destinations but attitudes are slowly changing. Poker is now available in casinos in both countries. Even Singapore Sports Betting Online is available now.
Why Might Poker Take Off in Malaysia and Singapore?Why might poker have some potential in both Malaysia and Singapore? First off, both countries have relaxed the laws banning such activities and made provisions for certain people to be able to partake in casino gambling and poker.
In the case of Malaysia, it came down to distinguishing between followers of Islam and minorities in the country who are mostly of Chinese and Indian descent. Foreigners who practice the Muslim faith are also banned from entering a casino to gamble but all others are allowed. Currently the minimum age to enter the premises is 21-years-old.
Resorts World Genting started offering poker cash games back in March 2020 and has managed to amass quite a following of keen players at a variety of stakes. The smallest game is RM 5/10 ( US$0.72/US$1.44) and can be seen running throughout the day and night, with bigger games available upon request providing there are enough players.
In Singapore, the action takes place at Resorts World Sentosa with a regular small-stakes game and a very good rake deal to boot. Higher games do run but they are raked considerably higher.
Fans of the casino poker type games can also get some action over at Marina Bay Sands and play against the house.
So, why is all of this important and notable? Well, not only are both popular destinations for travellers, the traditional place to go for gambling in Asia, Macau, is struggling deeply. China’s zero-Covid policy is crippling the industry in the area leaving the goal wide open for another to step in and fill the breach, Who knows how long this situation might go on for but certainly a place as affluent as Singapore could easily develop new resorts in quick time to try and fill the gap.