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Accounting for the growth in India’s online gambling habits

Team Udayavani, May 24, 2021, 4:26 PM IST

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Rising from infancy to a major international force in just 25 years, the online casino industry has been one of the most rapidly developing in the digital age. India is one of the countries where this development has been the most evident, where online casinos have quickly become a popular pastime. Playing into this development are a multitude of legal, infrastructural, and technological factors which continue to evolve to this day. Reflecting the modernization of India’s digital front, the implications of the growth of online casinos within India could be wide-ranging and significant.

Online and Offline Gambling Laws

Ever since its inception, the Public Gambling Act of 1867 has been a central law regarding betting within India. This act has long prevented the establishment of physical gambling businesses, though the law has relaxed over time. As of 2021, Daman, Goa, and Sikkim all allow casinos to be built on their land, with the right permits.

In the online space, it was the Information Technology Act 2000 that laid the groundwork for modern online systems. Owing to the freedom that this act allowed in online gambling over offline betting, the online casino scene in India quickly blossomed.

As can be seen in this Pure Win India review, websites targeted towards Indian players often include regional favorites like Andar Bahar among their regular range of titles. Backed by specials like reload bonuses and free spins, such services are popular from coast to coast, playable as they are on many different internet-capable devices. With the supporting technology becoming cheaper and more accessible by the year, this trajectory of growth is predicted to continue by many industry insiders.

Supporting Infrastructure

Though there has already been significant growth in India’s online gambling economy, untapped markets still exist due to challenges in internet coverage. Mobiles are a key factor in this regard, where smartphone penetration isn’t as pronounced as it is in many other nations. As of 2016, smartphone penetration in India sat at 19%, where it is expected to rise to 31% in 2022. In direct numbers, this means an extra 164 million potential customers, on a trend that is only continuing to grow.

Outside of mobiles directly, internet access within India on any device plays another key part in the success of online casinos. According to Analytics Insight, there were 243 million users of the internet in India in 2015. In 2020, that number had risen to 688 million, on trends that predict more than a billion active users in 2025. These increases in involvement are expected to have profound impacts on many online marketplaces, in both online casinos and beyond.

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With more than $60 billion invested in India’s internet startups in the past five years, both the government and people of India appear poised for a move into the online frontier. In online casinos, patterns of growing access are expected to drive continued growth in the gambling sector, aided by relaxed regulations for newcomers.

With Indian’s as interested in gambling as everyone else, it’s expected that this arm of the entertainment sector could soon prove a major economic force. Through both tax revenue and the potential for new online casinos based within Indian borders, online gambling is online going to grow bigger.

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