Sports betting and gambling is a closely kept secret in India, but one that still attracts millions of players every year. Whether it is through underground illegal bookies, or through the slightly more legal option of online betting, Indians have always found a way to bet online.
In the past few years, online betting has undergone remarkable growth, with the entire online gambling industry estimated to be worth 2.8 billion dollars by 2022. It is also estimated that about 40 percent of Indian internet users have engaged in online gambling through websites or real-money gaming apps.
Online casinos as well as gaming apps that include poker, teen patti, and fantasy gaming, have also started coming up with an astounding frequency. All these online betting sites and apps are also doing quite well, in terms of active users and profits earned.
Since online betting is an industry that is gaining momentum rather rapidly, it is important to understand the factors that have contributed to the growth of the sector. Since online betting and fantasy gaming still exists in a legal grey area, there are many factors that have made it possible for such an industry to flourish even without proper legislation and regulations. Let’s take a look at some of these factors.
Factors that have Helped the Rise of Online Betting in India
The first and foremost reason behind the success of online betting in India is the increased use of smartphones as well as mobile data packs. With better quality smartphones now available at low to mid-tier prices, people who had never before had access to the internet can now easily browse various betting sites and apps in India.
Additionally, since the introduction of 4G and cheap data packs by Reliance Jio, which began a series of competitive prices for data packs from all telecom operators, there is greater availability of cheaper data connections to people from various backgrounds.
Both these factors have definitely allowed people in India to have easy access to online gaming platforms.
Apart from these factors, there has also been an increased dependence on digital payments in India in recent years. Our largely cash economy has made a positive shift to the use of digital payment wallets like Paytm as well as the innovative UPI ecosystem. With more and more people now easily relying on digital payment options to transfer money and engaging more in online shopping than ever before, the context was perfect for the introduction of betting sites and apps.
Especially with popular betting sites now accepting UPI and other local Indian payment options, it is easier than ever for people to go online and deposit money as well as withdraw any money they win.
Last but not least, the final push that has seemed to help the online betting industry is the Covid-19 pandemic itself. With the pandemic closing down many economic activities as well as the lockdowns stranding most people at home, without many entertainment sources, people found playing online games not only fun but also distracting.
Therefore, the past couple of years has seen an exponential increase in the number of users that are now engaged in online gaming and betting through websites and apps. And for now, this number is expected to grow even further in the coming years.