Gambling in India is as old as India itself, so it is not surprising that more and more online casinos accept Indian punters, looking for new and innovative ways to place their bets. One of the first mentions of gambling in India dates back to around 7300BC and the Ramayana, the most important Sanskrit epic. The famous scroll notes dice games, and games played on a board, quite similar to chess, while another epic, Mahabharata, describes Shiva and Parvati placing bets against each other, what Parvati, in the end, considers to be more fun than making love to her husband, one of the principal deities of Hinduism.
The Indian gaming industry is no longer reserved for deities, or related to certain events such as festivals, but an everyday ordeal. The Indian gambling market is estimated at $60 billion per year, albeit 50% of it comes from illegal gambling houses and unregistered venues. But, despite all that, there is a single trend that stands out – the rapid growth of the online casino industry.
But why do more and more Indians opt for online gambling, instead of good old betting on street corners?
Please Follow NewsGram on Facebook To Get Latest Updates!
In 2020, there were 1,380,004,385 people living in India, thus making it one of the most interesting and lucrative markets for companies worldwide, and gaming operators are no exception. Indian gambling industry is growing at a rate of 20% per year, which is more than anywhere else in the world, and the projections show how high growth tendencies won’t stop soon.
Online casino firms quickly realized India’s potential, decided to join the party, and offer some highly customized deals that will attract punters from New Delhi, Mumbai, and Jodphur. They even support localized payment methods and INR as the main currency. Furthermore, specialized websites offering content such as 1xbet casino review, or other casino and games reviews, are popping up like mushrooms after rain. Everyone is ready to grab their piece of Indian cake, whether it be an online casino, or a specialized affiliate website, providing instructions on how to play and where.
The Rise of Modern Technology
According to some researchers, it is expected that in 2023, there will be 500 million mobile internet users. In 2017, only around 35% of the Indian population was using the internet (around 480 million people), but as it can be concluded, trends are changing dramatically, and most importantly, fast.
Modern technology such as smartphones, laptops, and tablets, is reforming the way we think, act, and make decisions. Let’s face it, we spend more and more time online and tend to use more online services then we did 10 years ago. Online casinos are no exception, and as one of the most popular gambling markets in the world, which is “going online” incredibly fast, India is one of the most desired investment territories for gambling operators.
As every corner of India, no matter how small or distanced, becomes interconnected with others, it also opens itself to a whole plethora of online sites. Casinos quickly grasped this opportunity and decided to solve one of the main issues of the Indian gambling scene – accessibility.
Lack of Gambling Establishments
Imagine trying to sell an online casino to someone in Las Vegas – it would be like trying to sell snow to Eskimo. But, when it comes to India, things look quite different as the casino industry is highly restricted.
Considering there is no universal gambling law for the entire Indian territory, it is upon the local governments to decide how and if they want to allow gambling. Unfortunately, the majority of local authorities don’t make a clear stand and define gambling conditions in a transparent and easy to understand way. For instance, gambling in brick-and-mortar venues is explicitly allowed only in Sikkim, Goa, and Daman, while online gambling is not even perceived as relevant, despite the fact it has already become a multi-billion dollar industry.
Online casinos have managed to introduce gambling to every household with an internet connection, making it more accessible than ever. In addition to that, they also tend to offer more than a single type of gambling so, for instance, you can play casino games, place sports bets and buy lottery tickets on a single website, instead of having to take a trip to Goa, or visit some shady dent in a sleazy part of town.
This article already mentions how Indian authorities show little to no initiative to create legislation adjusted to this day and age. The majority of gambling laws in India are not only outdated but also based on some premises and approaches that have long been abandoned as irrelevant. For instance, they focus on morale and ethics, instead of implementing rigorous licensing checks and creating a safe gambling environment – something that has been a trend in the European Union for over a decade.
Unfortunately, such an approach attracts not only solid, reputable companies, but online casino scams as well. As a great market, with no industry watchdog or strict standards, it is open to renown and fraudulent operators alike, thus leaving customers unprotected. And while there surely is a great number of companies licensed by prestigious authorities such as MGA or UKGC, there are also some companies that operate in India without any regulatory framework. They simply take advantage of the lack of any regulation, and a major market to get their hands on as many unsuspecting customers as possible.
Future of Online Casinos in India
Even though the online gambling market is experiencing incredible growth, this is a phase that won’t last forever. It will probably be followed by a consolidation period within a few years, in which both authorities, customers, and online casinos will be introduced to new laws, trends, and possibilities. The good news is that the consolidation period is, in most cases, a positive change for consumers who can enjoy their games in a regulated environment, and with regulated companies that operate legally.
(Disclaimer: The article is sponsored, and hence promotes some commercial links.)