Sport is extremely popular throughout Asia, and sports betting is becoming almost as popular. Asian bookies such as Dafabet, 188bet and 22bet allow punters in India, Hong Kong and Malaysia to easily place their bets. Football, cricket and US sports are the most popular markets upon which millions of rupees, Hong Kong dollars and ringgets are bet each year.
In this article, you’ll learn everything you need to know about Asian bookies including which are the best bookies with Asian handicap. We’ll explain how we’ve reviewed them, how you can choose between them for yourself, and some of the differences between Asian and European sportsbooks.
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1xBet is very similar to 22Bet in that it has an Eastern European background yet, despite this, chooses to focus on Asian betting markets. It is extremely popular in Asia and throught the rest of the world, and is often praised for being one of the best Asian handicap bookies, live streaming options (not available in every jurisdiction), extensive payment options and in-play betting.
It also has incredibly low margins that sink to less than two percent when it comes to the most popular betting markets, such as the leading football leagues and competitions – this is highly beneficial to the punter as that means the odds offered by 22bet are among the most generous found anywhere!
What we like:
What we don’t:
If you’re aware of a few Asian betting sites, then you’ll no doubt be aware of one thing – lots of them have the number ‘8’ in their name. In case you did not know, this is because the number ‘8’ is considered very lucky in Asia. This in turn is because the number ‘8’ in Chinese sounds a lot like the Chinese word for ‘prosperity’. Chinese people are so ‘superstitious’ that each year 8/8 is the record day for weddings!
You are more than lucky if you head to the 188bet sports betting site. This well-designed site has plenty going for it, including one of the best live betting sections we’ve seen anywhere. 188bet is a multi-gambling franchise that has eSports, casino, poker, bingo and even financial trading attached to it. 188bet is also the sponsor of Formula 1 in Asia, and have sponsored many UK football teams too, including Liverpool, Everton and Manchester City.
Going ‘with the numbers’ too is 22Bet at number three in our Asian bookies list, although this site goes with ‘2’ as opposed to ‘8’. That number is lucky in China, meaning ‘life’ and double numbers are considered lucky as well. 22Bet is a site that has been around since 2017 and although based in Cyprus, they focus primarily on Asian markets with European markets a secondary focus.
22bet is a site that scores highly for the competitiveness of its odds, swift payouts, a very pleasing range of promotions and the number of betting markets that are always available. It has licences in African countries too (Nigeria and Kenya) and counts ex-football internationals Nuno Gomes (Portugal) and Kevin Kuranyi (Germany) among its ambassadors.
Dafabet are probably one of the most well-known Asian betting brands in the UK, and are number one in out Asian bookies list. This amazing and popular site has been around since 2004 and is based in the Phillippines, which is one of those unsuspected gambling hotbeds in Asia. The reason, perhaps, that Dafabet is a recognisable name in the UK is becuase of the number of UK football clubs this company has sponsored – Celtic, Everton, Aston Villa and Norwich City to name but four.
The Dafabet website is available to sports bettors in the UK (Dafabet has a UKGC licence) and throughout the rest of the world (licensed by the Cagayan Special Economic Zone). It’s an easy to use site but a bit basic if you like images and graphics. It is excellent for football, horse racing and live betting.
At five in our Asian bookies list is another follower of the double ‘8’ trend, W88. UK football is very, very popular in Asia and the English Premier League in particular. The W88 logo has been seen on plenty of EPL shirts, including those worn by Crystal Palace and Wolverhampton Wanderers. W88 is also the betting partner of Leicester City. The W88 site is very popular in Asia and in many other jurisdictions too.
W88 is another Asian betting site that is based in the Phillipines. It has a decent variety of betting markets and very good coverage of the world’s major sports tournaments. For those who like their sports in bytes there’s fantastic coverage of eSports, plus virtual sports and even fantasy sports too.
As noted, there are dozens of Asian bookies out there. Many of these welcome residents from most countries across this vast continent. For this article, we put some serious time into researching these sites for ourselves, in order to create the top site rankings you see above.
Like everything at Safe Betting Sites, this was done according to a clear set of criteria. Several of the most important factors have been explained below.
We’ll look at welcome betting offers in more detail in the next section. For now though, it’s worth noting that even the best such deals only last a short amount of time. In terms of delivering long-term value, ongoing promotions are more important.
Naturally, we’ve rewarded Asian bookies which had more betting promotions in place. Just as important as the quantity of these deals though, is their quality. We’ve evaluated the actual value on offer in each case, balancing the rewards you get against any T&Cs you must fulfil. Dafabet is a very good site for promotions.
Even with the very best Asian bookies, you’ll encounter issues at one point or another. That’s perfectly natural. The only thing you actually need to worry about is getting those issues addressed as quickly as possible.
Both the speed and quality of a bookmaker’s customer support is key here. Live chat is typically the fastest way of getting in touch, so Asian bookies providing this have received a bonus in our rankings. The coverage hours have also been taken into account, as has the helpfulness of the support you receive. 1xbet has won several plaudits for its levels of support.
You’re always taking something of a risk when depositing money on a website. In the case of Asian bookies though, we’re pleased to say you’ll typically find solid security measures in place.
These should start with SSL encryption and firewalls on the bookie’s servers, and include separation between company and customer funds. Two-factor authentication (2FA) is also welcome, as are Know Your Customer (KYC) checks. 22bet is a site noted for its high levels of security.
We evaluated two separate areas here. The first was the general quality of Asian bookies odds. We looked at the prices offered on major markets in each case, and compared them with other Asian bookies. Any sites who regularly offered low odds were punished, while those providing the best were rewarded.
Secondly, we also looked at the available odds formats. Fractional odds may be standard in the UK, but decimal odds are more common in Asia. Different countries have alternative ways of actually presenting these. Hong Kong, Malaysia, and Indonesia – for example – all use slightly different formats. Asian bookies offering more ways to view odds have received a small bump in our rankings. Check out 188bet for the best Asian bookies odds.
You don’t get to be regarded as being worthy of a place in our list of the top ten betting sites in Asia without being the complete package. Some sites though must be regarded as the best in each of a range of specific categories. If you have a priority, then you’ll be able to see in our table below which recommended site is most likely to fulfill your needs.
Almost all Asian bookies will have sign up offers in place. Of our top 20 recommendations, only one failed to do so, and that was a betting exchange (welcome offers are typically less common on exchanges compared to sportsbooks).
The purpose of these deals is clear. Like sportsbooks elsewhere in the world, Asian bookies want to capture the attention of newcomers, and persuade them into signing up. There’s relatively little variety in how they do this. In the UK for example, you can choose between ‘Bet X, Get Y’ deals, or ‘Risk-Free’ bets. With Asian bookies, you’re almost exclusively limited to ‘Deposit Match’ welcome offers.
These definitely still offer value, though. Many Asian bookmakers offer a 100% match, in which your first deposit is completely matched in the form of a free bet. Deposit $50 (or currency equivalent), for example, and you’ll get a $50 free bet token.
Full T&Cs will apply to all of these sign up offers. As always, it’s absolutely vital to check these before trying to trigger a promotion. For Asian bookmakers, you should pay particularly close attention to ‘rollover requirements’, or ‘wagering requirements’. These are conditions you must fulfill before you can actually withdraw any money won using your free bets. In the best cases, these will only be ‘1x’ – you must simply bet through your first deposit, or the deposit plus the free bet. They can be much higher though, with some Asian bookies imposing 10x, or even 15x rollover requirements.
Ultimately however, even with their terms and conditions, sign up offers are a reliable way to get your new account growing quickly. Three of the best such deals currently provided by Asian bookies are listed below.
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We’ve already suggested that you give Asian betting sites at least a look in your quest to find the best betting sites, but … why should you? Why not stick to sites that only serve the UK market, or that have global appeal? Here are some reasons why you should choose Asian betting sites over ‘UK only’ ones.
Most UK-only sites set limits – the amount you can deposit, the amount you can wager and most crucially, the maximum amount you can win. Asian betting sites set limits too, but they are usually much higher. If you’re a high roller, then Asian betting sites should most definitely appeal.
UK-only sites constantly check the odds of their competitors to make sure their odds are within a reasonable range. Asian betting sites (especially the larger ones) are more interested in gaining your custom, so you may find more beneficial odds at them. Asian betting sites such as 188.com also offer regular boosted odds deals.
If you are Asian yourself or are interested in Asian sporting markets and betting on them, then you might find poor coverage of Asian leagues at UK-only betting sites. There are several sports popular in Asian that are not that popular in the UK – polo, ping-pong, badminton, muay thai … even buzkashi, the traditonal sport of goat-dragging. If you want to follow and wager upon such events, then you will be able to at Asian betting sites.
Bookies with Asian handicap are always popular in Asian markets. Just like the US, Asian punters prefer Asian handicap betting as they’re likely to get better odds than straight ‘1X2’ betting. The best bookies with Asian handicap always feature strongly in our list of the best Asian betting sites.
In certain areas, you might find some drop-off between European and Asian bookies. When it comes to betting markets however, there’s very little difference. Just like those in Europe, Asian punters have access to an enormous range of betting opportunities at any one time.
Here are some of the more popular betting markets for Asian sports bettors.
Handicap betting in Asian is much more popular then straight ‘1×2’ betting, just like it is in the US. Many sportsbooks call their handicap section ‘Asian Handicap’ because of this popularity.
With any kind of handicap system teams are given an artificial boost or handicap that will ‘alter’ the final score. Say Japan are playing the UAE at football. Japan may be given an Asian handicap of -1.5, and UAE a boost of +1.5. This means that if you back Japan they will have 1.5 goals taken off their score for the purpose of settling your bet. If you back UAE they will have 1.5 goals added on.
Say you back Japan and they win 2-1. With the Asian handicap applied, that result is changed to 0.5-1, meaning that sadly, your bet is a losing one. The best Asian handicap bookies are those with handicap options for most markets, and bookies with Asian handicap are the most popular in most Asian countries.
Asian totals is another popular bet at Asian bookmakers. You can bet on whether some measurable amount will be over or under the total offered.
Asian totals markets with offers of whole or half numbers are easy to understand. If you bet ‘Over 1.5’ for the number of goals scored in a game of football, then as long as at least two goals are scored then your bet is a winner.
Offerd totals such as ‘Over 1.75’ or ‘Under 2.25’ are a little more complicated. If you see quarter or three quarter totals, then you are being offered two bets. For example, ‘Over 1.75’ is a bet on ‘Over 1.5’ and ‘Over 2.0’. ‘Under 2.25’ is a bet on ‘Under 2.5’ and ‘Under 2.0’. In the latter case (if applied to football) if a game contains zero or one goal, then both your ‘Under 2.25’ bets win. If, however, the game contains two goals, then only the ‘Under 2.5’ part wins. If there are three goals, then both parts of the bet lose.
Sports bettors in Asia enjoy betting on far more than the result of a game. Two of the most popular aspects they like to bet on when it comes to football is cards and corners. ‘Cards’ is of course the number of red and yellow cards that will be shown during the game. ‘Corners’ is the amount of corners won by either team during the match.
Most Asian bettors bet on cards and corners on an over/under basis, say over/under 4.5. Note that a yellow card is worth one point, and a red card worth two. If a player receives a second yellow that leads to a red, then the second yellow is ignored (so just two points for the red card).
Games involving aggressive teams are good for excessive card counts, while games involving teams with players who attempt a lot of headers may be good for an excessive number of corners.
There are many ways that odds (the chances of an event happening) are expressed. Described below are six of the most commonly found.
Prior to 2000, fractional odds where the most popular odds format. They are just the probabilty of an event happening. The longer (or higher) the odds, the less chance. Winnings are calculated by multiplying the stake by the odds. So £2 on odds of 5/2 will give you £5. You need to add your stake on to get your returns, so such a winning bet would return £7.
Decimal odds are becoming increasing popular. They are the odds of something happening expressed as a decimal number. To convert from fractional to decimal odds you express the fractional odds as a fraction, covert to a decimal number and then add one. S0 odds of 5/2 in decimal format are 3.50. To work out your returns from a winning bet, multiply the stake by the odds. You do not have to add on your stake
Americans always do things differently, don’t they? American odds are … weird. If an event has negative odds, then the odds are the amount of money you would have to put on to win £100. If positive, that’s the amount of money you would win if you placed £100 to win. American odds are not really that popular outside of America.
Hong Kong sportsbooks use fractional odds, but in a slightly different way – they are fractional odds expressed as a decimal. This means that odds of 5/2 will be 2.50 in Hong Kong odds (not 3.50 as with true decimal odds). Doing the calculation for winning with Hong Kong odds means multiplying your stake by the odds but you need to remember to add your stake back on at the end to get your total returns.
Indonesian odds are identical to American odds except that the figures are what is returned if you bet $1 (or need to bet $1) as opposed to $100. To convert from US odds to Indonesian just divide by 100, or multiply by 100 if you are converting the other way around.
Malay odds are an awkward combination of decimal odds and American odds. They are expressed as a decimal, where 0.00 is evens. If the odds are positive, then you will win more money than your stake if your bet is successful. If the odds are negative then you will win less.
It’s best to understand Malay odds based on $1 bets. A winning bet on odds of +0.4 will win $1.40. A winning bet on odds of -0.25 will win $0.25. Don’t forget to add your stake on too!
Here’s a closer look at how oods types compare for the 1×2 market in the Italy Vs. Austria match in the EURO 2020:
It’s always better to have too much choice than too little. That said, picking between dozens of Asian bookies might certainly seem a daunting prospect. While we’ve already curated your options down to a top 20, only you can take the final step and decide on your sportsbook of choice.
We do have a little more guidance to offer, though. These are three of the most important factors to bear in mind when deciding between Asian bookies.
As with payment methods, when we’re evaluating bookmakers, it’s very much ‘the more, the better’ with market selection. When you’re evaluating Asian bookmakers for yourself however, this shouldn’t be your mindset. Instead, you should be focusing on the markets you actually want to bet on.
If you’re purely a football bettor, that won’t be a problem. All Asian sports betting sites will have sizable soccer sections in place. If you prefer niche markets though, you may need to dig a little deeper. Also, be sure to check that the specific markets you like to wager on are supported, whether they’re bet types (like outright bets or Asian handicaps), or particular competitions.
Online betting platforms have come a long way over the past decade in terms of usability. When trying to find an Asian bookie you can stick with for the long-term though, it’s vital to ensure you’re comfortable using it in advance.
Doing so could not be easier. You’re perfectly able to evaluate the interfaces of Asian bookies for yourself before making a deposit, or even registering with them. Simply head to the desktop website, or download a bookie’s apps, and start browsing. Judge for yourself whether you find the navigation intuitive, or whether you’re frequently struggling to find what you’re looking for.
On-the-go betting has never been bigger, and soon enough it may replace desktop websites as the dominant way to wager. Like their counterparts elsewhere, Asian bookmakers have reacted accordingly. Nowadays, many will not only have a mobile version of their main website, but will also provide iOS and Android mobile apps too.
If you prefer to bet on a mobile device, we’d absolutely encourage you to check out these features before committing to a bookmaker. Again, you can download the app and test it for yourself without paying a penny. In addition to evaluating the interface, look at how the app performs on your device. In particular, gauge how quickly pages load, how reliable the live betting feature seem, and whether or not the app crashes.
If an Asian bookie has a UKGC licence as you are based in the UK, then the verification process at any Asian sportsbook is not different to the verification process at a UK-only sportsbook. You will eventually need to supply ID documents that will confirm your identify (driver’s licence, passport) and address (recent utility bill). You may also need to show your source of funds, usually via a recent wage slip or bank statement.
If you are outside of the UK then you are not bound by UKGC’s rules. The verification process is usually a lot simpler – typically, you just have to confirm your email address by replying to the account activation email that the Asian sportsbook will send you once you have completed the registration process.
Generally speaking, when we’re evaluating sportsbooks for their payment methods, it’s a case of ‘the more, the better’. By providing a wide range of ways for punters to pay, after all, you’re appealing to the widest possible group of people for online gambling. We’re pleased to say that Asian bookmakers tend to excel in this area.
As with bookmakers elsewhere, you’ll almost always be able to pay using a credit card or debit card on Asian betting sites, like Visa or Mastercard. Another widely-supported option is bank transfers. These may either be done directly, or by using a third-party service like Trustly. eWallets like PayPal, Neteller, and Skrill are also common deposit options, particularly at the larger sites. Intriguingly, some Asia bookies will even allow you to deposit and bet using cryptocurrencies, like bitcoin.
If you are based in the UK you will not be able to use a credit card at any Asian betting site. Outside of the UK you are unlikely to bound by such a restriction. Many Asian bookies will allow you to deposit in native currencies such as rupees, ringgtts or yen, but many will restrict you to major currencies with the US dollar being a particular favourite.
Deposit and withdrawal limits vary from bookie-to-bookie. Pleasingly though, you’ll usually find the minimum deposit limits are significantly lower than those of bookies based in countries like the UK. They’re often as little as $5, for example, while British bookies will rarely let you deposit less than £10 ($13.60).
We’re also pleased to say that fees are rare among Asia bookies, for either deposits or payouts. Naturally though, the payment service you use may charge its own fees.
Functionally, the betting experience on Asian online bookmakers and European sportsbooks is very similar. At the top end, both will provide the quick registrations, intuitive browsing, and speedy bet placement.
There are some differences, however. Let’s take a look at some of the pros and cons of going with Asian betting sites over their counterparts elsewhere.
Often, sportsbooks catering to Asian bettors aren’t actually based in an Asian country. Instead, they are ‘off-shore’. This carries a number of benefits, with one of the most important being that they often provide far more payment methods. 22Bet, for example – one of our top-rated Asia bookies – has well over 100 different options, which dwarfs what you’d find from typical European bookmakers.
You’ll usually get more options in the currencies you can deposit too. Instead of being limited to the GBP, EUR, and USD, certain Asian bookmakers let you use the national currencies of Malaysia, Hong Kong, Singapore, Indonesia, Vietnam, and the Philippines, and and even cryptocurrencies like bitcoin.
We’ve touched on this already, but it bears repeating. The minimum limits for both deposits and withdrawals tend to be lower on Asian bookies. While a typical British sportsbook will usually ask you to deposit at least £10, for example, these sites might let you deposit less than £5.
If you’re more of a casual bettor, who doesn’t want to spend a whole lot of money on sports betting, this is obviously much more suitable.
Asian online bookamkers aren’t exactly poor when it comes to features. Many have their own mobile apps, and most will offer in-play betting and cash out.
For top end features though, they usually lag some way behind. Live streaming is the most obvious area, but quality-of-life tools like bet builders are also more rare.
The biggest European online sportsbooks, like William Hill, have track records going back decades. This is not the case with most Asian alternatives, which tend to be much newer.
Also, while they may still be regulated by authorities in places like Curacao, these are simply less prestigious than licenses with bodies such as the UK Gambling Commission.
You’ll find details about the legality of sports betting in some of the most populus countries in Asia in the table below.
The act of course makes no mention of online gambling, and there are no state-wide or administrative laws that prohibit online sports betting.
The Indonesia government does though crack down on sites that offer illegal gambling services.
Most sports bettors in Malaysia bet at betting sites that are not based in Malaysia which is understandable, as none are!
Non-muslims in Pakistan (and probably a large percent of muslims) use non-Pakistan sports betting sites to place their bets.
People in Singapore are therefore free to place bets at offshore sports betting sites.
South Korea residents therefore tend to bet at international offshore brands, even though their government frowns upon such an activity.
Despite this, people in Thailand use offshore sites to gamble, and the Thai government tends to turn a blind eye to them doing so.
The Vietnamese government has not though banned its citizens from using offshore sports betting brands, and 1,000s of residents of the country do exactly that.
The answer to that question is that Asia bookies can only accept UK customers if they have a UKGC licence. If you try and join an Asian bookie that does not have a UKGC licence, you will find that you will not be able to join. Some Asian bookie sites are geo-blocked in the UK. Others will not have ‘United Kingdom’ in their drop-down list of countries for your address, so you will not be able to complete your registration. Asian bookies that do have a UKGC licence (which is most of the Asian bookies mentioned on this page) should happily accept UK customers.
UK sport is extremely popular in Asia, especially football and the English Premier League. You may remember a few years back the Malaysia-based owners of Cardiff City defied 100 years of tradition by changing the club’s home shirts from blue to red (if you go to a sports shop in Malaysia you’ll find that all the football kits available for sale will be for teams that play in red – Liverpool, Manchester United, Arsenal, Bayern Munich and Barcelona).
Below you’ll find details of the clubs that are benefitting or have benefitted from Asian Bookies UK Sponsorship.
In-person sports betting has been hugely popular across much of Asia for a very long time. In the past couple of decades – as in the rest of the world – much of this has moved online. Nowadays, punters across a good chunk of the continent have plenty of Asian bookmakers to choose from. These compare favourably with European brands in almost all the most important ways, and typically provide a modern and fun betting experience.
If you’re looking to get started immediately, we’d recommend signing up with one of our recommended Asian bookies at the top of this page, and taking advantage of their welcome bonus. If you’d like to conduct your own search instead, just follow the advice elsewhere in this article. Either way, we hope you have an enjoyable and responsible gambling experience going forward.
Bet365 and Unibet are both well-known European bookies which also accept Asian punters. Elsewhere, the likes of 22Bet, MELbet, and 1xBet are strong all-rounders.
Asian bookies have largely the same betting markets as European sportsbooks. They typically support more currencies, and also have more payment methods. They may have slightly fewer special features, though.
Credit cards, debit cards, and bank transfers are widely accepted. eWallets like PayPal are also a common payment method, and some sites support cryptocurrency deposits and withdrawals.
Most will have SSL encryption and firewalls in place, and should carry at least one license with a gaming authority. Be sure to check this out for yourself before signing up, though.
Even Asian bookies often accept USD, GBP, and EUR. Aside from that, there’s a lot of variety from site-to-site. Many Asian currencies are accepted though, such as MYR, KHD and INR.
Peter is an experienced iGaming wordsmith who has been working in the industry since 2013. He has written more words on all aspects of iGaming than he cares to remember, and has provided content for many big industry names. When not writing Peter can be found out running or gaming on his Xbox.
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