The Evolution of the iGaming Market in India

India’s iGaming industry has grown so much over the last decade, especially when the pandemic started. The industry saw significant growth in gaming and gambling activities online since, during lockdowns, people had to find ways to entertain themselves.
The market value of the iGaming industry in India is likely to increase. (Pixabay)
The market value of the iGaming industry in India is likely to increase. (Pixabay)

By- Dylan M.

India’s iGaming industry has grown so much over the last decade, especially when the pandemic started. The industry saw significant growth in gaming and gambling activities online since, during lockdowns, people had to find ways to entertain themselves.

With the current status of the iGaming sector in India, many see its potential to become one of the leading markets in the industry. In 2020, it was estimated that there were around 360 million online gamers in the country and this number grew to 390 million last year.

By 2025, the market value of the iGaming industry in India is likely to reach 3.9 billion USD according to KPMG. That said, we’ll be seeing more people playing real money games and sports betting.

True enough, even the sports betting scene in the country is more alive than ever. Indian punters are flocking betting sites like 10CRIC. 10CRIC is a global brand that is providing exclusive services to Indian players and it’s most popular during major cricket seasons like the Indian Premier League.

It’s one of the gambling sites that contribute so much to the growth of the iGaming sector in the country. Aside from 10CRIC, other popular iGaming sites are Parimatch, Betway, and 22Bet.

What is iGaming Anyway?

Before we get into more details about India’s iGaming industry, let’s set things straight. The iGaming sector consists of online gaming but it’s not limited to online video games. The largest share of the country’s iGaming industry is accounted for by the casino and sports betting sector.

This is why when talking about iGaming, people would usually assume it’s all about online gambling. However, even regular online and mobile games are also counted here.

Is it Even Legal to Gamble Online in India?

Since iGaming is mainly about online gambling activities, it must be regarded that such activities are neither legal nor illegal in the country. Basically, online gambling is in the gray area because no laws specifically state that it is prohibited in India.

Gambling activities in the country as regulated by the Public Gaming Act of 1867. This has no mention of online gaming since during the time this was passed as a law, the internet was still a thing of the future.

The locals are free to place their bets online – even on offshore-based casinos and sportsbooks. (Pixabay)
The locals are free to place their bets online – even on offshore-based casinos and sportsbooks. (Pixabay)

Now, the Information Technology Act of 2000 also has no mention of online gambling despite it being the basis of any online activities in the country. And so, the locals are free to place their bets online – even on offshore-based casinos and sportsbooks.

Why iGaming is On the Rise

The popularity of online gaming and gambling activities are attributed to multiple factors. One is the growing online population in India. In 2020, India had over 749 million internet users. That means that around 50% of the country’s population is already online.

Now, the majority of these online people are using mobile devices. According to Statista, 744 million of these users are accessing the internet with their mobile devices.

The thing is that smartphones are becoming more accessible because they’re becoming less expensive yet still powerful.

A Deloitte study also said that by 2026, India will have around 1 billion smartphone users. That and India’s improved digital infrastructure can do the iGaming sector good. So, we’ll see more growth in the mobile gaming sector.

However, even if there are numbers shown by the likes of KPMG and Statista, it’s generally hard to gauge how big the Indian iGaming market is, especially online gambling. With a lack of regulation, many turns to underground betting and they are, of course, unaccounted for.

Popular Online Games in India

Numerous games have been championing the Indian market recently. On mobile, some of the most popular and most downloaded games are Ludo King, Free Fire Max, PUBG Mobile, Asphalt 9: legends, Among Us, Apex Legends Mobile, and Call of Duty: Mobile.

When it comes to online casino gaming, the casino classics have a huge audience in the country like Slots, Blackjack, Roulette, Video Poker, Craps, and Specialty Games. There are also online versions of traditional Indian games like Andar Bahar, Teen Patti, and Satta Matka.

Concerning sports betting, cricket is king. India’s love for this sport is simply undeniable. Besides that, cricket has some of the busiest sports calendars, so cricket fans have something to bet on year-round.

Aside from cricket betting, Indians also love to place bets on other sports and events like kabaddi, football, field hockey, and horse racing.

Disclaimer: (This article is sponsored and includes some commercial links)

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