As international tourism markets around the globe continue to evolve in dramatic ways, more and more major cities are turning to gambling as a way to attract unprecedented amounts of revenue from adventurous visitors. While traditional gambling hubs such as Las Vegas and Macau have remained strong in the face of increased levels of competition, it appears that they could be in for a fight when it comes to retaining their titles as dream destinations for the world’s gambling masses. In particular, growing international tourist totals from China have put Asia into an extraordinary gambling revolution. As countries from surrounding nations vie for a share of the overall Chinese tourism market, these are among the most attractive developing gambling cities on the world’s largest continent.
Early entrants to the Asian gambling sweepstakes, Singapore created the mold by which many of its fellow gambling hubs are developing future plans. By setting sights firmly on big-ticket gamblers through the development of integrated resorts, the affluent city-state was able to bring in about $6 billion in gambling revenue in 2013. While it may be strange to consider the world’s third-largest gambling spot an ‘up-and-coming’ destination, there’s still plenty of room for expansion. When you consider the fact that local authorities only allowed the legalization of gambling in 2010, it’s easy to see that Singapore is well on its way to challenging Macau for the worldwide gambling crown in the coming years.
Seoul, South Korea
If Singapore is considered the proof of concept, then you can consider South Korea as the full-sized gambling experiment. Still early in its initiation to the gambling industry, the Seoul-Incheon metropolis is pushing all of its chips to the middle of the table in an effort to capitalize on rapidly expanding Chinese tourism numbers. In addition to 16 existing ‘foreigner-only’ casinos throughout the nation, a massive $290 billion gambling project is slated to open in 2030. Unlike Singapore, Seoul tends to focus on casual gamblers instead of high rollers, which could be extremely lucrative as China’s upper-middle class begins to search out one-stop gambling fixes.
Like South Korea, the Japanese government has already put the wheels in motion to follow the Singaporean resort formula. While gambling remains illegal in the island nation, look for that to change in coming years, as the first casino is expected to be opened by 2020. Proven developers from Singapore resorts, including Las Vegas Sands and Genting, have expressed serious interest in turning the Japanese world city into a new gambling destination. Unlike Seoul, experts expect Tokyo to provide a healthy supply of local gamblers in addition to foreign tourists, creating an extremely lucrative outlook for developers and investors.
Despite some skiffs with the Chinese government, the Philippines is continuing to grow its gambling industry at incredible rates. Successful Macau developers have provided the city’s ambitions with a great deal of promise, and analysts expect the country’s annual gaming revenue to exceed $10 billion following the completion of four gaming resorts that are currently under construction.
As many of Asia’s nations continue to build enticing destinations to draw Chinese tourists to their shores, expect the global gambling industry to experience major growth in the coming years. From Russia to Australia, the enormous region could be on the precipice of completely revolutionizing the gambling industry.