CalvinAyre.com correspondent Angelia Ong is back with another interview. Recently, she managed to spend a few minutes with Betsson bigwig Magnus Grinneback to talk shop about the gambling business in Asia. Now, Angelia is back with another guest, senior associate for IGamix, Shaun McCamley, to discuss the future of online gambling in the Asian market.
As the founder and managing director of APC Management, which provides casino and risk management services to online and land-based gaming industries, McCamley is an unquestioned authority in the industry. When asked by Angelia the differences between land-based and online gaming in the Asian market, McCamley was candid and forthright in saying that there’s really nothing to compare because land-based gambling, especially in Macau and Singapore, is so successful. “Plus,” McCamley reminds, “they can’t do online gambling here because it’s illegal.”
“[Online gambling] is not on their radar because of the revenues they’re making in the casinos,” McCamley continues, referring to any desire of land-based casinos to offer online gambling. “And they have to do some serious lobbying to the government to make online gambling legal.”
If there’s one avenue that McCamley points out that has allowed land-based casinos to service off-site players, it’s through phone betting. In a nutshell, phone betting is a new way of gambling where you have one person on the telephone taking bets and the other could be off-site making the bets. In an effort to make phone-betting as safe and clean as can be for players, software developers, particularly one based in Korea, have been able to develop a software with little cameras on the table that allows the person making the bets to actually see the activity on the table, thereby eliminating any risk of fraudulent behaviour from the bet-taker.
Despite the prevalence of phone betting in some Asian markets like Macau and the Philippines, McCamley points out that it’s only a small step in the improvement of the gaming experience in Asia. Still, the iGamix senior associate remains realistic and understands the difficulties of online gambling’s attempt to penetrate the Asian market.
“It’s a very difficult market here,” McCamley says.
Despite the rapid development of technology, the biggest challenge facing online gambling operators from setting up shop in Asia is the money processing. “The number one challenge for any operator coming in to Asia is how to process the money because credit card companies will not approve deposits made from credit cards,” McCamley says.
“That’s the core function of online gaming.”