Gaming in India
Gaming in India is heavily restricted except for selective categories including lotteries and sports betting. Gambling critics claim that it leads to crime, corruption and money laundering. Even though regulated gambling is arguably a huge source of revenue for the state. Unfortunately, there are only a few casinos located in only three states; Sikkim, Goa and Daman, but there are definitely other ways one can gamble all over the country.
Online betting is certainly in its infancy in India, yet it’s widely accessible all over the country. The online betting industry contains a vast selection of games that lie under two sectors; Games of Chance and Games of Skill.
Games of chance
Games of chance are games that require no skill whatsoever and are always won by fair odds. Examples of these games are sports betting, like horse racing and cricket. Cricket betting is definitely one of the largest sports-betting industries in India, considering how big the sport is for the country, and how easily accessible the game is. It only takes a click of a button to find where to bet on cricket in India.
Games of skill
Games of skill are games that have alterable odds depending on how skilled individual players can be. For example games like poker or rummy. Most card-based games of skill are illegal in most states of India due to the Public Gambling Act of 1867, which states that it is illegal to run a gaming house or be found in one. Fortunately, there are no laws that state anything about online card-based gambling yet. Online poker is also widely played all around the country.
How big is the Indian online gaming industry?
Online gaming has fast emerged as an important source of entertainment in recent years. From time immemorial, gaming has been a part of our socio-cultural life. From being a simple recreational activity, gaming has moved through several platforms: video, digital and the current virtual platform. The transition of gaming is an exciting journey of technological advancements and the ever-growing popularity of newer forms of gaming. According to a recent study by KPMG India and Google, the Indian online gaming industry is set to become a USD 1 billion industry by 2021.
Most of the skill-games operators in the country are licensed business entities. Growth in the gaming industry has resulted in increased revenues for game operators. It has transformed the industry into a very lucrative one, encouraging a lot of new companies to try to have a pie of the market.
The fast-growing industry is not only generating employment opportunities for people but also contributing to government revenues through taxes.
The exponentially increasing number of smartphone users, easy options to download the app on the app store, rise in digital payment platforms and the improvement in IT infrastructure have been crucial factors giving a boost to the chance and skill-gaming industry. The future of the industry is bright and to a great extent depends on ensuring high standards of transparency and self-regulation.