iGaming: What it is and what are growth opportunities in India
But, what is iGaming?
'iGaming' is the name for the phenomenon that has swiped through the generations. It means online betting on an outcome of an event, game, sports, etc. For example, online poker games, slot games, sports betting, etc. The industry experts state that it's a game of skill, and the participants need a high level of understanding of the sport or the event they are betting for. iGaming includes fixed-odds betting- betting for a fixed odd before the game begins, and live-action betting - betting live as and when the event or the sport is going on. The iGaming industry is widely prevalent among gaming enthusiasts. The global iGaming market was at USD 72.3 Billion in 2021, as per the IMARC group. The report expects the industry to grow and reach over USD 130 Billion by the year 2027.
How is iGaming growing in India?
As specified earlier, the iGaming industry is quite effectively making its mark on the global market. Its grasp on the Asia-Pacific market region is growing at lightning speed. Indian audiences also have been a significant part of the gaming industry. As per the report by InMobi, India is the 5th largest market for mobile gaming in India. The boom of technology, internet penetration, and the collective craze for sports added to the growth of iGaming in the country. Fantasy sports apps and websites have become a regular part of the conversations around any particular sport. According to FICCI-EY data, online fantasy sports alone will value around $3.7 billion by 2024.
The growth and foundation of iGaming can be attributed to the ease of making payments online and the safety and security of E-wallet facilities, which enable confidence in dealing with money online. Also, the regulation and bans on the brick-mortar casino in India are the primary reasons why people have caught up with the idea of online casinos. India will surpass the United
Kingdom in the percentage of people who gamble, given that already around 40 per cent of Internet users in the country gamble. Many reasons contribute to the rise of iGaming in India. However, the following are some of the most prominent ones:
Mobile gaming has gained popularity due to IPL and multilevel marketing since smartphones have become more readily available to the general populace. Betting applications have increased in popularity alongside the growth of mobile gaming. Especially in the Indian market, mobile gaming is a widely opted mode of iGaming over computers or laptops.
Rapid internet access
The internet penetration rate has made the world a global platform providing people with various options to indulge. The fast internet connection has enabled people to access iGaming and test their skills on an international platform. It also allows participating in a more significant competition and a more attractive prize pool. The emergence of 4G and 5G networks have just added to the existing thrill of the game.
Transparency and Trust
Most leading iGaming platforms are certified and use Random Number Generator. Thus, the odds of a player winning on the forum is fair. Moreover, the money gets credited immediately to the winner's account. Better odds and trust have further acted as reasons for the growth of leading Gaming platforms. Moreover, iGaming is under regulations that make it much more secure and free from legal hassles than offline and illegal circuits prominent in the country.
Evolving and Thrilling Games
The iGaming industry is constantly evolving to fulfil the changing requirements of the players. For example, inspired by the love for the sport of cricket among Indians, one of the leading iGaming platforms launched the game Cricket X during IPL 2022. The developers considered all the tiny details that real cricket fans would notice in the popular game. Such innovations help in keeping the players entertained and engaged over time. The online gaming market is here to stay, and the producers identify its potential; thus, they work on the financial and skill-based aspects and provide a better user experience to the players.
Online and instant money transfer
The e-commerce platforms and online money transfer apps have made the audience comfortable with the idea of transferring money online and online purchases. The ease of dealing with finances is another benefit of online betting over other forms of betting.
Challenges in the growth of iGaming
One of the significant challenges in the growth of the iGaming industry is the negative connotation associated with betting in general. Along with these, the iGaming platform is facing a tremendous amount of obstacles from the governments.
The negative connotation associated with betting
One of the significant challenges in the growth of the iGaming industry is the myths circulating about the sector. For example - it is illegal; it is addictive; the platforms are not safe, etc. Most of the leading iGaming platforms are among the safest websites. They also enable tools that help identify patterns when someone might start getting addicted and take necessary steps. Based on the country's regulations, they also ensure that users of the specified age can only access the platform.
Struggle with the law of the land
One of the pullbacks for iGaming in India is the constant ban attempts. Several state governments, including Karnataka, Tamilnadu, Odisha etc., have tried to rid the state of iGaming completely. The Karnataka government had banned Fantasy sports and iGaming, stating that they are games of chance and not skill and need to go; the ban is now lifted. However, the threat still lingers.
iGaming has always received a mixed set of reactions from audiences. Despite the challenges, the iGaming industry has continued to flourish, especially post the pandemic. The penetration of the internet and smartphones in the country's households has acted as a massive catalyst for the industry's growth. The iGaming platforms add thrill and fun to the mundane lives of the people. If iGaming finds its roots in the Indian market with proper licensing and regulation, it can contribute hugely to the economy and job market.