The iGaming business continues to grow in India

The advancement in technology, particularly the internet, has opened up the world of gambling to almost everyone. Gone are the days of visiting a land-based casino or game parlor before you can experience the entertaining and immersive experience of gambling.

Though it comes a bit later than one would expect in India, the iGaming businesses are recognizing the massive and higher potential of the Indian online gambling market compared to the several western countries.

The vast population of India, the increased availability of cheap but high functional devices, and a stronger economy make the potential here enormous. Already, there is a noticeable surge in the number of online casino operators, especially European companies tailoring their services to suit the Indian audience.

The current legal state of gambling in India

Regardless of the law, gambling generally is an ancient phenomenon in India but never fully legal. The Public Gambling Act, 1867, makes gambling generally not allowed in India. But the Act does not cover online gambling. It does not mention online gambling, which along with the internet, are relatively new phenomena.

Other than Punjab, Uttar Pradesh, Madhya Pradesh and few states still adopting the central gambling law, the rest of the Indian states have their legislations on virtual/online gambling. States like Nagaland, West Bengal and Sikkim permitted certain games, including Poker, in their legislations. Some states excluded “games of skills” from the permitted online games while Goa allows it in some specified places.

Generally, the law on online gambling is still a grey area. The almost unstoppable internet factor and the potential of the market suggest that common ground is more likely between the government and iGaming operators in the nearest future. An appropriate regulation can create win-win solutions for all the parties, with the interest and the healthy gambling habits of the Indians given priority.

The number behind the Indian iGaming growth

Hardly would one find a country in the world where most factors point to the potential boom of the iGaming market like India. A population heading towards 1.5 billion, over 250 million consistently play games on their mobile devices.

65% of the population is under the age of 35 and half of the population under 25. With other factors considered, these groups are at the center of technological revolutions and adventures. They are perfect customers for iGaming companies.

Currently, the Indian gaming market is valued at 62 Billion Indian Rupees (900 million dollars) and that number is expected to quadruple in the next ten years. Also, the steady growth in income per capita, showing a rise of 9.96 percent in 2018 – 2019 is one indicator of improvement in the economy and more financially stable players.

When these numbers are combined with the availability of low budget smartphones, computers and cheap ISP, the number of online casino players and the value of the iGaming market is bound to increase significantly.

Popular games in India

India is only behind the United States in the overall global online gaming session ranking. The card and casino section, as well as card and strategy games, contribute a sizable portion to this growth.

Along with dedicated Indian websites with contents in local language and easy payment in Rupee, iGaming companies wanting to enter the Indian market may need to provide traditional games such as Mang Patta, Indian Rummy, Indian Flush or Teen Patti, Andar Bahar and more.  The number of Indians playing contemporary online games is also encouraging and increasing in recent years. The popular ones are slot games, video slots and table games such as baccarat, blackjack and roulette.

The Indian populations are passionate sports lovers. They don’t ever joke with the support of their cricket team and the sport in general. Offering cricket betting is non-negotiable for an iGaming business that wants a piece of the pie. Other sports with massive followings in India are hockey and, of course, football.

What does the future hold for iGaming in India

With the global gaming industry set to hit $200 billion by 2022. The Indian iGaming can be considered as emerging but already contributing considerably to the overall global growth. Operators in India may not offer online gambling services, but the world is a global village and the internet has no border.

The estimated number of internet users in India should be 730 million by the end of 2020, thanks to the cheaper smartphones and internet services. It suggests more Indians now have access to the internet and some investment to try their luck at online casinos and sportsbooks.

While waiting for the government to legalize or provide lesser restrictions to iGaming companies, all factors point to India becoming one of the biggest iGaming markets in no distant future.

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