1st Edition

Developing the Frontiers of Casino Tourism Progress and Prospects in East and Southeast Asia

By Ricardo C.S. Siu Copyright 2025
    224 Pages 15 B/W Illustrations
    by Routledge

    This book explicates how the frontiers and path of development of casino tourism in various destinations in East and Southeast Asia are shaped by a set of social, cultural, political and economic forces and their interplays in a dynamic environment, and the prospects of this industry in different destinations in the 2020s and onwards.

    Casino tourism has been a rapid growing industry in East and Southeast Asia in the 2000s and 2010s. By scrutinizing the respective evidence from the better-developed, emerging and potential casino tourism destinations in East and Southeast Asia (which include Macao, Singapore, Malaysia, South Korea, the Philippines, Vietnam, Cambodia, Myanmar, Japan, Thailand and Taiwan). The book analyses specific contextual dimensions including social, cultural, political and economic standpoints, the pragmatic features associated with the progress of this industry and performances of casino tourism at the various East-Southeast Asian casino tourism destinations. Additionally it also explores the impacts from the “China factor” and the resultant changes to the development frontiers of casino tourism. Thus, readers who would like to gain realistic insights into the underlying forces and dynamics of the practices and prospects of this industry will find this book informative and compelling.

    This book provides a comprehensive and succinct reference to students and industry practitioners in the areas of tourism, casino gaming and integrated resorts who wish to gain further insights into the general and essences, business routines and prospects of casino tourism development in East-Southeast Asia. Academics may also find this book a useful source for further exploration.

    The Big Picture

    1     Introduction

    1.1    Composition of casino tourism in East and Southeast Asia

    1.2    Performance of the industry: An overview

    1.3    Research questions

    1.4    Approaches

    1.5    Organization of this book

    2     Evolution and Modern Development of Casino Tourism in East and Southeast Asia

    2.1    Characteristics and a short history of casino tourism

    2.2    Contextual settings of East and Southeast Asia

    2.3    Basis, organization and structure of the industry

    2.4    Landmarks for modern development and their dynamics 

    2.5    Existing structure/organization and probable changes

    2.6    Summary

    3     Social Economics and Political Economy of Casino Tourism

    3.1    Principles of social economics and political economy

    3.2    Socio-economic attributes and impacts of casino tourism

    3.3    Political economy of casino tourism

    3.4    Dynamics of different interest groups

    3.5    Summary

    Dynamics and Concerns

    4     Reality or Illusion?  Specific Lessons from Macao

    4.1    From casino gaming to casino tourism destination

    4.2    Factors that have led to enviable performance in new era

    4.3    Macao model dilemma

    4.4    Reforms and prospects

    4.5    Summary

    Cautious Planning and Different Practices

    5     IR Model of Singapore and Implications

    5.1    Cautious and strategic public decisions

    5.2    Industrial performance in a dynamic environment

    5.3    Updated policies that align with changing environment

    5.4    A new model for casino tourism?

    5.5    Summary

    6     Different Approaches and Performance: Malaysia and South Korea

    6.1    Forces that have led to monopoly structure in Malaysia

    6.2    Business practices and dynamics of the industry

    6.3    Casino tourism for foreign visitors of South Koea

    6.4    Casino monopoly for local Koreans

    6.5    Summary

    Active Participants and Imitators

    7.    Active and Emerging Casino Tourism Destinations in Southeast Asia

    7.1    The Philippines: From a government monopoly to private operations

    7.2    Progress of casino tourism in Vietnam

    7.3    Active expansion of Cambodia and issues

    7.4    Lagging progress and reality of Laos

    7.5    Ambiguous status and progress in Myanmar

    7.6    Summary

    8     Dynamics and Uncertainties of Casino Tourism in Japan and other Potential Destinations

    8.1    A long process in Japan

    8.2    A landmark decision and prospects in Japan

    8.3    Issues in Taiwan

    8.4    Looking ahead to Thailand

    8.5    Summary


    The New Dynamics and Roadmap Ahead

    9     Prospects of Casino Tourism in East and Southeast Asia

    9.1    Dynamics from changes in the “China factor”

    9.2    Reshaping the role and composition of non-gaming elements

    9.3    Dynamics and uncertainties ahead

    9.4    Conclusion and remarks



    Ricardo C.S. Siu is Associate Professor of Business Economics in the Faculty of Business Administration at the University of Macau. His research work focuses on institutional economics, economics of casino gaming/tourism, and the Chinese economy. Ricardo is an internationally-known scholar in the stream of casino gaming, specializing in the areas of public policy and evolution of casino gaming in Macao and other Asian jurisdictions. He is a frequently invited speaker to various executive development programs in gaming management. Ricardo has widely published in academic journals, books and professional magazines in the areas of casino gaming and tourism. He is the author of the book Economic Principles for the Hospitality Industry (2020).

    ‘This timely and outstanding book, written by a respected commentator and acknowledged expert on casino tourism, is essential reading both for specialists in the field and those interested in the broader touristic significance of a growing and economically important business. The specific focus on east and southeast Asia offers uniquely detailed insights into an area of the world where tourism is evolving rapidly. The author provides a wealth of data on, and analysis of, the role being played by casino tourism in this process of evolution. Highly recommended.’

    -Dr Roy C Wood, Visiting Professor, Hertfordshire Business School, University of Hertfordshire, UK.


    ‘I would highly recommend this book to anyone interested in delving into the captivating world of casino tourism, particularly in East and Southeast Asia. As someone who is always been fascinated by this subject, I was thrilled to discover that the author, a renowned figure in the field, has poured extensive knowledge and insights into its pages. The book not only presents ten thought-provoking research questions that guide readers through the evolution of casino tourism in the region, but it also introduces an ingenious analytical framework that offers a fresh perspective on its development. For me, this book has been an enlightening exploration, shedding new light on the world of casino tourism in East and Southeast Asia.’

    -Dr Amy Siu Ian So, Associate Professor, Department of Integrated Resort and Tourism Management, University of Macau, China


    ‘Casino tourism boomed in East and Southeast Asia after Macau opened the sector to competition in 2004. Many other jurisdictions soon followed, including Singapore, in the context of a turn to an integrated resort model, with each jurisdictions adopting its own variation. This book discusses the key policy choices and compares various regulatory models, institutional settings, and their economic and social implications. It is an invaluable resource to understand modern regulatory approaches to the casino tourism industry in Asia.’

    -Dr Jorge Godinho, Associate Professor, Instituto Superior Manuel Teixeira Gomes (ISMAT), Portimão, Algarve, Portugal