As many more people gain access to internet services in India, the country has become a profitable area for many businesses. There are currently over 500 million active internet users in the country and it isn’t about to reduce. Many global companies have recognized this and are taking opportunities to invest. One of those industries that have witnessed large foreign investment is the gaming market.
The current situation
According to reports from Maple Capital Advisors, India’s gaming market has attracted over $350 million in investments from firms between 2014 and the early months of 2020. The reports also said that the Indian gaming market was currently valued at $930 million. It predicted this worth to grow at 41 percent annually. The industry is expected to hit at least $1.1 Billion in 2020 with an estimate of 630 million online gamers.
The figure will continue to grow even as the number of internet users in the country rises. Based on studies, the number of internet users in the country will surpass 55% of the population in 2021. And by the end of 2024, India’s gaming market is predicted to hit $3.7 billion.
How investors are taking advantage of Indian’s weak gaming law
Many global companies and groups have been taking advantage of the loopholes in Indian gaming laws to make large investments in the country. Some of the laws concerning gaming in the country were put in place about a hundred years ago.
Gaming offline is howbeit properly defined. The law distinguishes between skill games and chance games. It gives room for skill games and allows placing of stakes. However, the law does not define online gaming. In fact, when it comes to online gaming, India has no form of regulation for it.
So, it may be generally difficult to start online gaming operations (especially relating to chance games) in the state. Indian firms also face restrictions in offering their services online. Nonetheless, the country cannot stop foreign firms from offering online gaming services to people in the country. As it is, the law only tackles gaming in the country. Therefore, online gaming on a platform that is not hosted in the country can be said not to have taken place in the country.
This loophole in the law is what a lot of European gaming firms take advantage of, especially online casino operators. They are able to offer their gambling services through their online platforms to Indian players. It also serves as an opportunity for many Indians who love playing casinos but cannot due to the law. Through these foreign apps and websites, Indians can enjoy casino games lawfully. They can even partake in live casino games and get an experience similar to gaming in brick-and-mortar casinos.
Gaming firms are developing games specially for Indians
When online casinos and gaming sites initially began offering services to Indians, they featured several kinds of games with different origins. However, these firms are now redefining the Indian gambling market by researching and targeting their games to serve Indians especially. They are incorporating the Indian culture and tradition into the gaming services.
Many European iGaming providers are now investing to provide better versions of local Indian games, such as Andar Bahar games. For example, Ezugi released a special Andar Bahar version in August 2019. Woohoo in partnership with 10CRIC released different casino games designed for Indian players. These games include the ever-popular card game Teen Patti, Andar Bahar, and a special RNG cricket-themed game titled Cricket Kings slot.
Another way these companies are expanding their influence in the Indian market is by offering games in Hindi and accepting rupees as payment currency. These payments in rupees are also done through popular Indian payment gateways. Then, the live games especially live Andar Bahar and Live Teen Patti are being offered with Hindi speaking people as the dealers. It allows players to send messages and receive replies in the language they understand perfectly.
Betway who is already making an influence in India, partnered with the Live Casino giants, Evolution Gaming to deliver some unique offerings for Indians. Betway released two live casinos, Bollywood Roulette, and Bollywood Blackjack with Hindi speaking dealers.
Non-gambling game developers are also thriving
Apart from online casino providers, other video game developers are also investing in the industry. Many global developers such as Electronic Arts, Rockstar, Tencent, and Ubisoft have set up their offices in India. Indians are spending hours playing these games. In fact, a regular gamer in India spends an average of 40 minutes playing every day. About 150 million Indians play PUBG mobile regularly. And they also play games like Candy Crush, Criminal Case, and Farmville on Facebook.
These global firms are dominating as it is challenging for Indian developers to compete with them. When you consider the funding involved and the skills needed to make these top-quality games, these European gaming developers might just take total control of the Industry.