iGaming in Asia: A Market Experiencing Exponential Growth

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When discussing emerging iGaming markets, typically the North and Latin American ones are first to be discussed, but the Asian market has a long, storied history in gambling and is growing considerably at the moment. In 2022, the Asian Pacific online gambling market reached a massive size of $19.5 Billion USD, with experts expecting that to rise to $37.5 Billion USD by the end of 2028. With nearly 60% of the world’s population, it’s no wonder that operators and affiliates in the industry are becoming more interested in this area.

Considering the exceptional growth of the Asian iGaming market, we put together this piece to break it down further, looking at their interests, trends and much more!

Asian iGaming Market Breakdown

Having an audience with a high smartphone adoption rate is a major part of a strong iGaming market, as it means users will be able to easily access their favorite brands on the go. Asia is doing quite well in this area, as smartphone adoption rate is currently skyrocketing in Asia. In 2021, the smartphone adoption rate was 74% and is expected to grow to 84% by 2025.

When it comes to payment options, each country is different and has preferred, localized options, but digital wallets are key across the continent and a trusted form of payment for users. The scope of digital wallet usage in Asia can be seen with China, as 83% of their e-commerce was powered by a digital wallet last year, according to FIS. Having crypto as a payment option has also been a popular discussion in the area, as many users have begun to look to use it to fund their accounts.

While each country has unique interests and should be focused on individually, eSports events have a lot of interest surrounding them continent wide. SiGMA found that 54% of worldwide betting on eSports came from the area, making it a massive focus for brands in the area. In total, 64% of total bets coming from Asia are on eSports, showcasing how valuable this product is for this audience.

Poker is another vertical that has a strong player base in the area, with a particularly strong interest from India and China.

Marketing Strategies for Asia

As with any market worldwide, plenty of focus must be on localization to connect with the widest possible audience. Brands and affiliates should look to cater to the optimal languages, payment methods and interests of each country they consider.

We covered how prominent eSports are in Asia earlier, but sports betting is always an important piece of the puzzle in Asia. While worldwide events like soccer, horse racing and the NFL do well in the continent, certain sports do better with different countries. For example, cricket is a vital part of the Indian sports world, while baseball and MMA are strongly valued by the Japanese audience. We suggest that brands look to create offers around the particular interests of each country, as a one-sized fits all approach may not be as successful. The same concept applies to the casino vertical, with Pachinko being popular in Japan, while Mahjong is a major focus in China.

While using affiliate marketing to connect iGaming brands with new audiences has become common in Europe, it’s also evolving worldwide, including in Asia as well. Brands in the area are realizing that they can cost-effectively and efficiently promote their exciting products with affiliate marketing, while more and more strong affiliates are emerging. For anyone looking to grow in the Asian iGaming market, this method is a great way to link up with untapped users and expand your presence in the area.

Key Takeaways

As the Asian iGaming market is among the most rapidly growing in the world, both affiliates and brands need to be creative with how they aim to reach this evolving audience. By focusing on the specific interests of each audience they target, it’s more likely that a brand will have success with their marketing strategies, particularly if they’re using affiliate marketing.  

Over the coming years, as technology continues to improve in the area and even more users have access to online gaming, Asia has the potential to become a true power in the iGaming industry.