Indians have always been interested in cricket, hockey, and wrestling. However, very few professional gaming leagues have survived in India. Cricket and hockey have the biggest fan base across the country.
While Indians cheer their sportsmen participating in the Olympics and Asian Games, the support for track and field athletes has been dismal on the ground.
In Eastern India, football has been popular among the masses, but the whole country is passionate about cricket. Because of too much focus on cricket, other games have suffered because of less attention from authorities and local sports bodies. This is one of the reasons for the poor performance of the Indian squad at the Olympics and other international sports events. Indian athletes have always complained about not having enough facilities for training, and sports bodies have been asking the Ministry of Sports for more funds.
Advertisers support cricket matches, and the Indian Cricket Control body (BCCI) is the richest cricket body across the world. The broadcasting and advertising rights are sold for millions. Cricket received a further boost as the Indian Premier League T20 was launched a few years ago by BCCI official Lalit Modi. Modi has stayed in the UK to avoid fraud and corruption charges for the last few years, but his league has made millions for BCCI and cricket players.
Sports betting has been picking up pace across India. And the rise of this segment has prompted many big names in sports betting to look at the Indian market seriously. The Indian government doesn’t allow land-based casinos in India (except Goa, Nagaland, Daman, and Sikkim), but foreign operators can operate online casinos.
Young and technology-savvy people are flocking to online casino sites and sports betting apps. Online casinos in India are operated by Europe or US based companies, and these platforms offer a safe and transparent betting environment. Indians are also shifting from unreliable and illegal betting networks to online platforms.
In January, consultancy firm Deloitte released a report suggesting that India’s online gaming industry is expected to expand at a CAGR of 40% to $2.8 billion by 2022. In 2019, the industry registered $1.1 billion in revenue. The COVID-19 pandemic also fuelled the growth as many Indians were stuck at home. During the pandemic lockdowns, many people joined online gaming and sports betting networks.
The Indian market has a big potential, and targeting the Indian audience can offer a better return on investment to casino networks headquartered outside India. Reliable gaming agencies in Europe audit the majority of the online networks operating in India.
With fast internet access available at one of the lowest costs worldwide for 4G data, Indian consumers have been getting online rapidly. The faster internet access has enabled Indian bettors to access apps and services. As everyone is getting online, the acceptance of online gaming and sports betting has been picking up. Indians can rely on the safe gaming environment offered by online casino operators. Before choosing the right platform, bettors should conduct due diligence to find what suits them the best.
The fantasy gaming, iGaming, and sports betting segments are set for fast growth in India. The future is bright, and many new platforms are planning to enter the market in the near future.
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