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The ARF Reveals Increased Illegal Gambling in Asia

A recent report released by the Asian Racing Federation showed that illegal gambling is on the rise. The report put 534 online gambling sites from 61 countries under the microscope. ARF found that less than 40% of the sites operate under a valid license. Another group of sites has a license but failed to comply with the set regulations.

Operations in Gray Markets

The report by the Federation also revealed that a big percentage of the 534 iGaming sites surveyed by ARF operate in gray markets. One of the main reasons for this is they target Asia. Gambling regulators in this region take a rather slow approach when handling illegal gambling matters. In some instances, they may be willing but lack sufficient resources to track down those that breach these regulations. 

In addition to picking the surveyed sites randomly, ARF as well as the regional federation for horse racing organizations also trained its sights on trusted and popular global brands. The survey showed that at least 262 iGaming platforms surveyed were the most popular sites from 2019 to 2021. 

The organization further examined randomized sites suspected to operate without a license or classified as illegal. Most of the sites were found to have permits from Malta, Curacao, and the Philippines. The ARF revealed that these three jurisdictions have issued multiple permits to unregulated sites. 

ARF classified the industry into three. Sites that accept bets within the jurisdiction are permitted from the first category. These are licensed and regulated sites

The ARF Reveals Increased Illegal Gambling in Asia

Philippines, Malta, and Curacao Must Up Their Surveillance

Data from the ARF shows a massive number of unregulated iGaming sites originate from the three countries as well as their licensing processes. The organization further showed that Curacao hosted at least 31% of the offenders while Malta hosted 18%. The Philippines was termed the global facilitator of unregulated gambling. 

Illegal gambling in Asia accounts for around 80% of the ARF’s estimate. However, there’s no evidence to support this claim. Nonetheless, the report further argued that unregulated websites accounted for over 6.78 billion visits to gambling websites during the survey period. 

The organization was also able to show that traffic to these illegal iGaming sites contributed close to 6.78 billion of the overall traffic. But when it comes to unique visitors and users, at least 97% of the individuals under observation visited these sites at one point during the survey period. 

Illegal gambling is on the rise with their ill-gotten funds allowing them to strengthen their marketing and branding. They can also offer more appealing bonuses while they enjoy the laxity portrayed by the absence of regulatory bodies to hold them to account. 

Junkets are also part of the blame according to the report. These junkets continue to provide fodder for illegal gambling to flourish. And the move to online gambling isn’t making it any easier. 

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Nerijus Grenda
Nerijus Grenda
Published: 03 Jun 2022
Updated: 13 Mar 2023
Nerijus Grenda is a prolific contributor to the GoodLuckMate site. With a deep understanding of the online casino industry, gained from his own experience as an avid player, he offers valuable insights on what sets the best casinos apart from the rest. As a writer, Nerijus shares his expertise through expert analysis and thoughtful commentary on various topics related to online gambling, including casino reviews, game guides and industry trends.

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