Travel and Gambling Laws in Asia

The Asian region is one of the most popular destinations for travellers. It has a wide variety of natural landscapes and cultures, which makes it a great place to explore if you’re looking for adventure and easy access to the best online casino.

While gambling is illegal here in Thailand, it is possible to cross the borders to Cambodia where many large casinos have been established (most notably Poipet) to attract Thai people and travellers to their side of the border. They are possible for day trips as well. Otherwise, it’s always best to check regional and local gambling laws before travelling to gamble in Asia.


China is a big country, but it’s also one of the most populous countries in Asia. If you’re travelling to China, check out our guide to gambling laws in China.

To understand how these issues affect your trip, it’s important first to understand what kind of gambling is allowed in each region:

  • Macau: Gambling is not allowed here. However, casinos are legal and operate freely under strict regulation by the government. These casinos sometimes offer slot machines and table games such as blackjack and roulette.
  • Hong Kong: Gambling is legal here if it involves playing cards or dice games like craps or baccarat. Slot machines are not allowed at all but may be found at certain establishments within their limits where they’re considered “casino style.”


If you’re looking for a country with a relatively strict gambling law, Japan is your best bet. It’s only legal in casinos, and even then, only if foreign companies own them. In other words, unless you plan on visiting one of these places on an international trip or as part of your vacation, it will be hard to gamble there.

Japan has no casino or gambling facilities at all – and that’s not likely to change any time soon! However, there is a loophole in the famous Pachinko Parlours where you can win tokens that can then be traded for money outside of the establishment.

In addition to being unable to gamble in Japan, there are other rules regarding this activity that you must consider before travelling there. For example, you must be over 20 years old before entering any casino establishment and have your valid identification papers upon arrival at each location.


In the Philippines, gambling is illegal. It’s also illegal to operate a casino or enter one without first being granted permission by the Philippines government. There are two exceptions to this rule: horse racing and legal online gambling.

This strict regulation of gambling in the Philippines is due to its history as an American colony during World War II. During that period, casinos were set up on military bases across the country for soldiers to spend their wages away.

It’s technically possible now for tourists who arrive through air travel alone (without any visas). However, most hotels require proof of identification before granting access to their gaming areas.


Malaysia is a Muslim country, so gambling is not allowed. But this isn’t to say that Malaysia is not a tourist destination – far from it! The country has a population of 30 million people, and only 8 million of them are citizens.

The Malaysian government places strict limits on how much money can be spent by foreigners visiting their countries. Even if you’re visiting for three days, you’ll have to pay $20 per day for food (our food guide here), and lodging costs alone.

Because there aren’t many casinos in Malaysia (bar Genting Highlands), most gamblers will find themselves at one of two places: Sarawak or Sabah. Both states have casinos operated by different companies with their own rules regarding age limits and minimum bets per game played.

South Korea

In South Korea, gambling is not legal. Gambling is seen as a negative activity, and the government has banned it.

The government also makes it illegal to build casinos in South Korea and prohibits advertising for gambling activities on television or radio stations. In some countries such as China, Japan, and Singapore, it’s possible to gamble online through websites.

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