CHUCK – Is there any difference between an Asian gambler and an American gambler?
SHAUN – Yes, like night and day. Asian gamblers have a completely different approach to betting strategy, customer service expectations and money management.
Blackjack is the most popular Internet casino game for North Americans. What are the most popular casino games in Asia?
Without question the game of baccarat is the most popular, closely followed by pai gow and sic bo.
Trust is very important to the Asian player, right?
Probably the most important aspect of our business relationship. Western casino operators shouldn’t think they can just walk in and expect gamblers to come flocking to their sites. The importance of local knowledge — game preferences and customer service — are critical to the success of any online casino operation targeting players from within this region.
Are land-based casinos popular in Asia?
Land and sea-based casinos are very much a way of life throughout Asia. You will find them in every corner of the Far East.
Where are the hotbeds of casino action?
Macau is certainly one of the busiest and highest revenue generating casino operations in the region. Then you have the Philippines which last year generated some $500 million in profits, and this from only 12 casino locations.
How big is the market for Internet gambling in Asia?
Huge. I think Asia has the potential to be the biggest market for future Internet gaming.
So how does InterContinental plan on opening up the Asian Internet gambling market?
We are entering the market with a long-term perspective, using my extensive contacts to set up partnerships, which can address the issues of trust and customer preference head-on.
Which Asian countries do you expect will be first to embrace Internet gambling?
Obviously countries where people are more advanced in the use of computers and who have a better feeling for using the Internet. This would currently place Singapore, Hong Kong and Taiwan at the head of the list.
Are there any legal hurdles that must be cleared before Internet 789 gambling takes off in Asia?
Legal issues are as grey in Asia as the rest of the world when it comes to Internet gaming.
Is there anything else you’d like to tell us about Internet gambling in Asia?
Just to reiterate that the potential for Internet gaming in Asia is boundless, and in time will definitely be the dominant market in this industry. We plan to take full advantage of this fact by positioning ourselves early in the region and by creating acceptable products for the Chinese-speaking markets. That means doing a lot more than just a translation job. From the choice of games to the table-layouts to the design of Web sites and promotional material — all need to be done from a Chinese perspective. Through this strategy, our intention is to become the leading operator in the Far East.