The breaking news coming out of the online gambling scene in 2021 is that India’s online gambling market can now claim to be the biggest in the world. There can be no doubt that 2021 has been a really good year for India’s gambling scene, with it now being larger than top Asian and European countries. It is estimated that the gaming industry in India is worth around $930 million, and with the second-highest number of Internet users in the world with 560 million users, it is only going to continue to grow. In fact, it is estimated that by 2025, India’s gambling industry will be worth $112 billion.
Factors Responsible for This Growth
The staggering growth of the online casino industry in India can be accredited to a number of factors, and we are now going to take a look at the main factors now.
The pandemic was instrumental in helping the growth of the gambling industry in India. In an attempt to slow the spread of the virus, the Indian government, like many governments around the world, implemented a lockdown strategy that meant that people were forced to stay indoors. Since everyone was stuck indoors, they needed some form of entertainment to get them through the day, and many people turned to the online gambling industry for their mode of entertainment. Due to the high demand, gaming companies increased services and products and now it has been reported that there are 400 gaming companies in the country catering for about 400 million users.
India’s Young Population
When it comes to population, only China sits about India. There are around 1.3 billion Indians and around half of these, believe it or not, are under the age of 25. A staggering 75% of the population is younger than 45 years of age, which just so happens to be the target audience of gambling companies. Indians in the 25-45 age range enjoy entertainment where there is the chance that they can win some extra money, so many turns to gambling, which is why we are witnessing consistent growth in the country’s gambling industry.
Increase in Internet Users
In 2021, it is estimated that around 560 million people in India have regular access to the Internet, making India the world’s second-biggest online market – first place once again goes to China. The gaming industry in India will carry on seeing staggering growth with predictions stating that by 2023 there will be 630 million Internet users in India. As the Internet becomes more accessible and mobiles become cheaper to buy, more and more Indians will turn to online casinos for modes of entertainment.
The Legal Status of Online Gambling in India
The legal landscape regarding gambling in India is a complex matter because there are 27 autonomous states in the country. This means that the legality of online gambling varies depending on what state you are in – India’s gambling industry is regulated on both a national and state level. At the time of writing, you will only find land-based casinos in two states, and these are Goa and Sikkim.
Another issue comes about due to the fact that the Indian government is still using the Public Gambling Act of 1867, which was put in place when they were still being ruled by the British. Some claim that this Act pertains to land-based and online gambling, but this is a grey matter since the Act was created when the Internet was still more than a century away from being created. This act makes most forms of gambling completely illegal, but since there is no mention of online gambling in it, there is nothing that the Indian government can do to prevent Indian citizens from playing at online casinos in India.
At this moment in time, India does not have adequate regulations to address the pace at which the online gambling industry is growing.
Why India Needs to Regulate Online Gambling
The confusing gambling laws in India are harmful to its economy. The expanding gambling industry can generate millions of dollars for the country, but instead, all this money goes out of the country to offshore gambling companies that cater to Indian players. By fully regulating the online gambling industry in India, the government can curb illegal gambling activities and, at the same time, boost their economy. Additionally, they will be able to get a better estimation as to the percentage of people that have gambling problems and can help them with their issues.
The Indian government has a distinction between skill-based games and luck-based ones. Games of skills are ones that require a person’s knowledge of the game to win, while a game of luck is one where a player needs nothing but luck to win, such as a slot game. Games of skill are permitted, but games of luck are not. However, the boundaries are blurred because there is no game that relies entirely on skill or luck – yeah, some might be more dependent on luck or skill, but they have both elements. Thus, a distinction between the two is not justified and is one reason why the Indian government should overhaul its gambling laws.
The Future of Online Gambling in India
A lot of industry experts believe that the online gambling scene in India will carry on flourish, and we agree with them. There is one problem though and this is that some Indian states cannot leave the past behind them and are unwilling to embrace the future. For instance, Andhra Pradesh recently announced that it would never regulate the gambling industry. However, to end on a positive note, there are plenty of other states that are examining the chance to regulate online gambling. In our opinion, if one state dares to regulate the industry, others will follow in their wake.