Why Are There so Many Asian Slot Machines?

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Asian Slot Machines

Many common themes exist throughout the slots world. TV shows, fruits, African wildlife, banking, treasure hunting, and sports are among the key examples.

But perhaps no theme is more prevalent in the casino gambling world than Asian culture. Literally thousands of Asian-themed slot machines exist throughout land-based and real money online casinos.

Why is it that slots developers have such a fascination with Asian culture and history? You’ll find out below, as I explain more on this type of slots and why they heavily populate the gambling industry.

How Common Are Asian-Themed Slots?

If you’ve walked around a brick and mortar casino or browsed an online gaming site, you’ve almost assuredly seen at least one Asian-themed slot. You may have even played one or more of these games.

The number of such slot machines varies based on the casino in question. However, Asian slots commonly fill out between 5% and 25% of a casino’s game selection.

Putting this into perspective, assume that an online casino offers 500 slots. They’d most likely feature between 25 and 125 Asian-themed games in this case.

Other common themes only account for between 3% and 10% of casino slot machines. For example, a gambling establishment isn’t going to dedicate 25% of its selection to treasure hunting.

What Is the Typical Asian Slot Machine Like?

Some game providers do a decent job of switching up the look and feel of Asian slot machines. Nevertheless, many of these slots still revolve around similar concepts and appearances.

A typical Asian-themed game will deal with good fortune and make a dragon or the Chinese lucky number 8 the key concept.

These types of slots also have traditional Asian music. Their music and sound effects are built to create a pleasing atmosphere rather than a high-energy one.

Asian Slots

These slot machines also commonly present a combination of a historic and mythical theme. Revered in Chinese culture, dragons are heavily prevalent throughout such slots.

Asian games also frequently use zodiac signs as symbols. For example, they may center on a rooster, which is the zodiac sign for fidelity and punctuality in Chinese culture.

Ways That Asian-Themed Slots Differ From Western-Themed Games

Asian slot machines have distinct characteristics that set them apart from many Western-facing games. Below, you can see the key differences that make them special.

Lots of Red and Gold

Red is almost always the predominant color in any Asian slot. It represents good fortune in many countries on the continent.

Likewise, gold is yet another common color in these types of games. For example, gold coins may serve as the wild symbol while gold trim outlines the reels.

This same red-and-gold makeup is common in Chinese homes and restaurants. Assuming you enjoy this color scheme, then you’ll definitely appreciate it in Asian-themed slot machines.

Different Symbols

One downside to these games is that they overlap with their symbols far too often. However, the same symbols also rarely appear in any other type of slot.

Here are examples of the icons commonly featured on the reels of Asian slots:

  • Cashien (god of wealth)
  • Fortune cookie
  • Gold coin
  • Gold ingot
  • Firecrackers
  • Jade dragon
  • Rooster

I’ve played my fair share of these games, so I get bored with seeing the same symbols pop up again and again. However, the same group of icons set Asian-themed games apart from the average slot.

Common Themes

Game developers have found a proven formula with these kinds of slots. Therefore, they tend to feature the same themes over and over.

Here are common themes found in Asian slot machines:

  • Cashien
  • Chinese New Year’s celebration
  • Dragons
  • Good fortune
  • Koi ponds
  • Wealth

One of the most cliché type of slots includes a wealth-based game that offers gold coins and gold ingots as key symbols.

Dragons encompass another common Asian slot theme. Such a game often features the dragon as a wild or scatter symbol and includes gold coins and other typical icons.

Asian-Inspired Music

As mentioned before, these games favor traditional Asian music over the high-energy beats and loud sound effects seen in many other slots.

For example, a game about a Japanese koi pond will offer a very laid-back tune. Compare this to a racing themed game that has a rock n’ roll beat and loud sounds when you form winning combinations.

Why Do Casinos Carry so Many of These Game Types?

What makes these slot machines so appealing to casinos? Here are several reasons why the gambling world loves offering such slots.

Appeal to Asian Tourists

Gambling is a large part of Asian culture. Therefore, many people from this continent like visiting major gambling destinations, such as Las Vegas, Monte Carlo, and the more local Macau.

The same tourists probably don’t want to play a slot based on football or American patriotism. Instead, they’re looking for something familiar in a foreign place.

Asian-themed slots provide this familiarity. They include the types of cultural symbols, music, and color schemes that those from this continent are used to.

Chinese Dragon Graphic

Casinos are motivated to cater to this group when considering the sheer tourism numbers out of Asia. China, Japan, and South Korea all feature a great deal of international travelers.

The same nations don’t have a lot of legal gambling options either. When they come to the United States or UK, for example, they really enjoy visiting casinos.

Over 4.6 Billion People Live in Asia

It makes total sense to develop slot machines that appeal to the world’s most-populated continent. Asia has 4.6 billion people.

By comparison, Europe is the next-largest continent with 741 million people. As you can see, the numbers aren’t even close.

You’ll also see countless slots that are specific to Chinese culture. The reasoning here is also simple when considering that China has the largest population with over 1.4 billion people.

Not many slots specifically cater to India. But given its population of 1.3 billion people, I wouldn’t be surprised to see this trend change in the near future.

Unique to Westerners

Asians aren’t the only ones who enjoy these types of slot machines. Some Westerners also like Asian-themed games for something different.

They’re used to playing the same kinds of adventure, outer space, and spooky slots over and over again. They may seek Asian-themed slot machines for something different.

Again, these games blend together after a while. But they’re certainly interesting if you haven’t played them much before.

Good Luck Themes Bring Good Fortune

Many gamblers rely on luck to bring them big winnings. So, what better way to attract this luck than by playing slots that are entirely centered on good fortune!?

Of course, the return to player (RTP) has much more practical bearing on your winnings. But a game that’s based on Chinese good luck symbols may make you feel luckier.

Will Asian Slot Machines Always Be so Popular?

Asian slot machines will always hold a prominent place in casinos. After all, they cater to the countless tourists coming from Asia every year to play real money slot games.

Western countries like appealing to these tourists with slots that match their tastes. Considering that Asia comprises 60% of the world’s population, this trend should continue into the foreseeable future.

Of course, countries like Japan and South Korea have made more forays into the casino gaming world in recent years. Most notably, Japan has legalized casinos and will feature their first gambling resorts within the next few years.

Therefore, I’m not so sure that generic Asian-themed slots will be enough to keep attracting this group in the future. Even still, I don’t think this aspect will put a big dent in the mass production of Asian slot machines.


Casino gaming is a numbers game to the industry. Gambling establishments want to offer games that appeal to the masses and earn them the most profits.

Asian-themed slot machines help accomplish this goal to a great degree. After all, they’re aimed at a population of 4.6 billion people.

The drawback to these games is that they often look similar regarding colors and themes. But they also offer familiar concepts to millions of Asian tourists.

That said, you shouldn’t expect this style of gaming to slow down any time soon. Developers will keep churning out many Asian slots well into the future.

Michael Stevens

Michael Stevens has been researching and writing topics involving the gambling industry for well over a decade now and is considered an expert on all things casino and sports betting. Michael has been writing for GamblingSites.org since early 2016. ...

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