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2010-05-23 Expert: Alexander Dinerchtein Rate: (0)

Gambling in the Far East

Gambling in the Far East


Say Las Vegas and immediately jumps to mind a picture of casinos and casinos galore. Similarly say casinos and you think of Las Vegas. While Las Vegas and casinos have almost become synonyms for each other, the Far East is another region that is slowly becoming a casino gaming destination.


Among the gambling cities in the Far East, Macaudefinitely takes the lead. Macau's growing presence in the gambling world is not really new. The city of Macau has been home to gambling for over a hundred years. In the initial years when the city was in the control of the Portuguese, only Asian gambling games such as Fan Tan and Pai Gow were given licenses. However since new legalizations in 1962, casinos have also found a place here.


While Macau seems to be becoming the new gamblers paradise (according to a report last year, Macau's casino revenues exceeded that of Las Vegas), in the other regions of China, gambling continues to be illegal. In Hong Kongfor instance no gambling is permitted except on bets placed via Hong Kong Jockey Club which as the name suggests has to do more with sports than casinos. This club endorses gambling for horses, football games and even a lottery, but casinos do not make the list here.

South Korea is another country that has a liberal gambling policy. As such the country has a successful casino industry. However with the growing influx of western casinos and online casino sites, competition is likely to heat up in the region. The immediate threats come from the northern side where Russia has designated Vladivostok as a gambling zone. Similarly in the south, Philippines has plans of large casino resorts whereas in the east, Japan seems to be easing its gambling and casino policy too. 

With casino games gaining popularity, it is not surprising that there are some popular players hailing from the region as well. Some popular players from the Far Eastregion include David Chiua Chinese American who claimed the 2008 title to the World Poker Tours World Champion. David Paul Steicke is another popular player based in Macau who claimed US$110,592 in poker wins in the High Roller no limit Texas hold 'em event, during the first Asia Pacific Poker Tour in November 2007. Yet another poker player currently making waves in poker games in the Far Eastis Raymond Wu. Wu is based in Taiwanand has won many poker series including titles in World Cup of Poker, Macau Poker Cup and online poker. 

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