Whenever anybody tends to think of card games and gambling, two big hits come to mind. Few other card games hold such power in the gambling world as poker and blackjack, with Asia currently experiencing a flurry of interest in the former.
Poker – in both online and land-based forms – has been on the rise in Asia with dramatic increases in the amount of people not only playing for free, but playing it for real money, and often hefty sums at that. Such is the demand for poker in Asia and the Pacific region at the moment, that many leading poker experts are predicting that there is some serious cash pots to be won there, and that someday it could challenge the dominance of poker in the United States. The rise in interest is predicted to peak in 2015, when poker is expected to have risen 9.2 percent from this year.
Naturally Macau holds the top spot for places to play poker in Asia; it’s vast gambling casino capabilities are already world renowned and a few of the very best casino experts have long foreseen Macau eventually toppling Las Vegas as the gambling capital of the world. Hong Kong is also rather big on poker at the minute, the latter having been transferred from British control to Chinese in the late nineties came with it people who gamble, which is often banned under Chinese laws. The unique status of these two former colonies however has allowed them to retain special licenses and statuses that wouldn’t otherwise be open to many other regions or countries in the Pacific and Far East.
If one was take Australia also into account (technically in Oceania and not Asia – though it is often classified as such), then the market for poker expands even further. In this country, poker accounts for over sixty percent of all gaming revenue that the state makes. This is in stark contrast with the poor 4% of gaming revenue that is currently being collected from poker across Asia, and yet the experts are still very much optimistic that before long, poker will go the same way in the region.
The catalyst for this massive growth is the country of China. Many believe that when the Chinese population learns what they are missing with poker, and the Chinese authorities permit such a game that one of the world’s most populous countries will have an unbeatable market. Logically it all makes sense, and there is indeed bright hope for poker in Asia, but for the moment it is the casinos of Macau and Hong Kong that keep turning those cards and raking in the rewards.