Asian Racing Federation Warns Illegal Gambling Is Flourishing
The Asian continent has witnessed an exponential increase in its gambling industry as countries like South Korea, Vietnam, Cambodia, the Philippines and Macau have continued to experience significant growth. Japan has also legalized its casino industry and is expected to have its integrated resorts up and running within the next few years.
While Asia is labelled as one of the hottest gaming markets in the world, the Asian Racing Federation (ARF) has issued a warning stating that illegal gambling is flourishing and is growing even faster than the legalized gambling industry.
China and India which rank number one and two in terms of the world’s total popular have bans on gambling but this hasn’t prevented illegal gambling operators from infiltrating these markets and providing underground betting services for bettors.
The ARF carried out detailed research and published a report on the state of the illegal betting market. The paper values the illegal betting market in the Asian continent to be upwards of $4.2 billion and states that this market will continue to grow unless gambling watchdogs and governments take the threat seriously and put measures in place to clean up the industry in their respective jurisdictions.
In a statement, Martin Purbrick, chairman for the anti-illegal ARF betting taskforce said
Our message to authorities is not only that illegal betting is a threat to racing and other sports, but also that a less visible threat of money laundering underlines illegal betting and facilitates the growth of transnational organised crime.
ARF Issues Stern Warning
The ARF anti-illegal betting taskforce said that the growth of illegal betting would pose serious problems going forward and could very well kill most sports. Since the underground market is so lucrative, there is massive potential for players to be bought and matches to be fixed.
During the 2018 FIFA World Cup, the authorities in a number of Asian countries carried out massive sting operations which resulted in number of illegal gambling rings being busted and underground operations being shut down.
The ARF said that the massive increase in illegal sports betting will not only cause concerns like matching fixing and money laundering but also have a negative impact on society. With the number of illegal bets being taken, families will be impacted as problem gambling numbers soar along with the rates of debt and suicide.