Business leaders and innovators in technology and internet services have been eyeing up the Indian market for years. Increasingly affordable ways to access the internet and the massive population of over 1.3 billion people make for a tantalizing audience to appeal to, with big-name companies already starting to ease their way into the subcontinent. With the online space constantly getting a larger Indian audience, new industries are emerging that weren’t present before, with one such industry being the online entertainment sector known as online casino, or iGaming.
Here, we’re going to explore what has given iGaming legs in India, what the industry covers, and why it has become so popular – allowing you to consider if you too should be exploring this area as an Indian entrepreneur.
The power of the smartphone for industry
The smartphone has been perhaps one of the most disruptive technologies to the world of business over the last couple of decades. The devices offer a way for people not to just stay connected to each other on the go, but also stay connected to work and perform work functions via the internet. Of course, the internet isn’t just for facilitating work communications, with several industries like online casino setting up exclusively online to make the most of the widespread accessibility and convenience.
India’s population alone is enough to signal the nation as being a superpower in terms of mobile adoption and internet users. Now, however, with data costs dropping and mobile devices becoming more sought after, a massive audience of 820 million smartphone users is expected to have taken root in India by 2022. This furthers internet technology adoption rates shown last year, during which India had in excess of 450 million monthly active users. There’s a lot more to come, too, with major companies actively seeking ways to bring the internet to the rest of the 1.35 billion residents.
Major tech and online-based companies from around the world have been actively exploring ways of getting a stake in the ever-growing, but already massive, Indian online market, with Facebook and Amazon among them. Most recently, however, Google has invested $4.5 billion in Reliance Jio, with the two titans coming together to create an even more affordable smartphone to increase the mobile and internet user base of India further. With investment flying in to get more people online, as well as the fact that 65 percent of the population is under 35-years-old, internet-based industries and businesses can get very excited for what’s to come, as well as what’s already in place – which is why iGaming has already set-up shop.
India’s embrace of the online casino industry
The online casino industry is a veteran of the European online space, with the first gambling website opening in 1994. The relatively newly-coined term ‘iGaming’ refers to just about all forms of regulated online gambling; from sports betting to casino gaming. With most of the biggest sites combining the two for a complete iGaming experience. Sports are, of course, massive in India, lending the sports betting side of the equation quite naturally to the audience. What might come as a surprise is that the casino gaming elements of online casino sites. With sports betting have also earned colossal audiences; with the most popular slots and games in India showing a diverse range of preferences.
Most probably because the entertainment options are relatively new to India, a nation without a widespread casino industry; the games that have become famous span a considerable range. Among the most popular games are slots, as would be expected by any observer from established markets. Themes play into slot popularity a fair bit, with the ancient Egypt-themed Book of Dead, the celestial Starburst, Aztec Luck, Norse mythology-based Odin Infinity Reels Megaways, and Book of Sheba showcasing India’s embrace of just about everything on offer. Several of these are also very popular in established markets, showing India’s ability to lock onto existing trends in the new space.
By combining popular sports betting with new options like slots and live casino games, the iGaming platform has become very popular in India. It has already exploded into the mainstream, but there’s even more to come in line with the rapid rate of smartphone adoption.