Betting in Asia is huge in comparison to the rest of the world, the sports betting industry in Asia accounts for billions of pounds every year. This means that there are bigger bets and more competitive prices to take advantage of. Due to the massive stakes involved, the large Asian bookmakers such as SBO operate on a much lower margin than the European counterparts.
It is more akin to high frequency trading in the sense that they look for the small spread in-between the shifting prices than taking a position on individual outcomes. The punter therefore has a better chance of winning long term than they do using many European books where the margins are typically double or three times that of those in Asia.
Due to this massive demand for sports wagering, the major bookmakers in Asia offer prices and significant liquidity on almost every game for football, no matter how obscure the league or division. Sports’ betting is a big part of Asian culture today. There is no sporting event that you cannot place a bet on. People think that betting adds a little more fun to the game and that’s why they participate in this activity. Almost all sports fans in Asia place wagers in sports at some point in time. The most common type of bet struck on sports in Asia is the Asian Handicap. Asian Handicap betting is becoming more and more popular as it providers punters the opportunity to eliminate the ‘draw’ in a sports game. For this reason, this form of bet has become popular not only in Asia but also in Europe. While handicap betting applies to several sports like hockey, NHL etc, Asian Handicaps remain very popular in football.
This form of betting gives the bookmaker a smaller margin; it also tries to balance the odds as best it can to a 50-50 outcome. This means all games can be made interesting and balanced no matter how varying in ability the two teams facing each other are. This allows for much bigger volumes and competitive prices than those seen in Europe. Over/Under and 1 X 2 betting is also offered widely though Asian Handicaps allow for the biggest bets.
The Asian betting market is opening up more towards the European market, from recreational players to semi-pro and professional trading groups and syndicates. Laws which had previously been an obstacle to some of the betting practices have been lifted or relaxed. The reputable agent system in Asia allows for a safe-guarding of funds for the more cautious individual has brought in many high staking players. Major operations such as SBO, Mansion and 188bet sponsoring premiership teams have also increased awareness to the Western market. However, it has to be said that these sponsorship deals are primarily for the colossal Asian television market that watch these teams every week and provide the majority of the liquidity. Some Asian sports betting sites are getting Western interfaces opening up this huge liquidity and competitive pricing to a larger customer pool.
It is often said that the prices on the majority of football games are derived in Asia and any odds changes are seen with the Asian’s first. This tends to be true for almost all matches. It is very easy to see the price change in Asia due to a number of big bets, often placed because they are best price. It is then inevitable that the smaller European bookmakers or the exchanges react similarly.
As the awareness in Europe grows for the sizeable volumes and best price available in Asia for individuals and betting syndicates so will the appetite for accounts with them. As more punters make inroads into the Asian betting market the punter will benefit from an ever growing liquidity for big bets and best price in a virtuous circle.