Like many countries and jurisdictions across the globe, India does not provide clear legislation for the online gambling market. So, whilst sporting betting and casino gaming is largely prohibited throughout India, there’s no single law that makes virtual wagering an illegal activity.
This legislative loophole is commonplace across various iGaming markets, whilst in this instance it means that Indians are able to wager freely online through offshore casinos and betting sites.
In this post, we’ll look at some of the key trends that define the Indian iGaming market, whilst asking what players and offshore operators can expect in the future.
The lack of regulatory framework for the iGaming market in India is undoubtedly problematic, which is why the government has proposed plans to change this in the near-term.
After all, nearly half of the $60 billion wagered each and every year in India is done so illegally, often through domestic or unlicensed operators who are prohibited from participating in the marketplace.
This is also a common problem in the States, whilst even countries that boast progressive regulatory measures (such as the UK) feature rogue operators that are either unlicensed or unable to comply with the national laws.
To negate, we’ve seen the emergence of independent comparison sites such as bestcasinosites.net in India and similarly affected jurisdictions.
These resources offer impartial and comprehensive reviews of the best casino sites in India, with only safe, reputable and licensed firms featured on-site.
These reviews also compare the various welcome bonuses and games’ libraries on offer, enabling users to determine the sites that offer the best entertainment and the safest online gambling experience.
Whilst there has never been a law prohibiting online gambling in India, fantasy sports betting was considered illegal for a prolonged period of time.
The reason for this was simple; as regulators considered the lines between gambling and fantasy sports betting to be blurred, creating a scenario where the authorities outlawed it on a national scale.
However, the landscape shifted considerably with the incredible successful Dream11, which became the country’s first gaming unicorn in April of this year.
Over the course of the last three years, the number of platforms offering daily fantasy games has also experienced a seven-times increase to 70. Thanks largely to the success of the market leading Dream11, there are now more than 100 million fantasy gamers in India too, creating a vast audience that’s capable of generation significant revenues nationwide.
Almost 74% percent of fantasy sports gamers play up to three times a week, with the segment having spawned its own ecosystem and created a deeper relationships between Indians and their favourite sports.
As a result, online sports betting is also becoming increasingly popular in India, with sports such as cricket (and particularly the IPL), soccer and tennis particularly generative for offshore operators.
In simple terms, fantasy sports betting has provided an outlet for the estimated 80% of Indians who like to gamble on a regular basis, whilst also helping to drive growth in other iGaming sectors.
In many ways, the exponential rise of India’s iGaming market (and the wider gaming industry) has much to do with the parallel increase in smartphone adoption.
According to the most recent studies, the number of smartphone users in India is likely to peak at 530 million by the end of this year, whilst the nation’s overall mobile games market is expected to be worth $1.1 billion by the time 2020 draws to a close.
On a similar note, the number of mobile gamers in India is likely to break to 600 million barrier during the next 12 months, with a similar trend driving the country’s online betting and casino markets.
This represents a global trend, of course, and one that continues to impact on global iGaming brands such as Bet365, Betway and Unibet.
As a result, these operators have invested heavily in the development of responsive casino sites and native apps for iOS and Android, which allows users to seamlessly access a vast range of HTML5 games through their smartphone or tablet.
Remember, it’s these huge offshore brands that dominate the Indian iGaming market, so it’s little wonder that mobile gambling remains a key trend that’s integral to both short and long-term growth.
This type of resource is crucial in the market, as it helps to protect players, earn their trust and enable India’s online gambling market to scale in a sustainable manner.