Four Key Factors that are Responsible for the Rise of the Indian Betting Market

Much has been said about the state of the betting market in India but very few have analysed the reasons that are contributing towards its success. In this article, the team at cricketbettingpro breaks down four factors that are responsible for the increased spotlight shed on India’s gambling market.

Sports Industry | Cricket, Football and Much More

India has one of the largest sports industries in the world. Cricket dominates that market and can be described as ‘religion’ for the lack of a better word. Superstars such as Tendulkar in the 90’s have been idiolised by the public bringing joy and heartbreak to the masses in equal measure.

Move away from the shadow that cricket casts on other sports and you will quickly find support for other sports such as football, tennis hockey and kabaddi. Each sport in turn gives rise to a number of superstars that smartly use the power of social media to further extend their influence on the market.

A quick glance on the Facebook accounts of MS Dhoni and Virat Kohli reveals that they have 20 million and 37 million followers respectively. Branching into other channels such as Twitter and Instagram reveals staggering numbers that dwarf those of their foreign counterparts.

Internet | Usage, Growth & Affordability

India has taken to technology like duck to water with cities such as Bangalore being transformed into Silicon Valley of Asia. Furthermore, internet is now in the grasps of millions of Indians with the usage currently sitting at 45%. To further illustrate this point, internet usage in India is growing at 60 million users per year which is roughly the population of Italy.

With the passage of time, the cost of delivering the internet to the masses will fall further and more will be inclined to hop onto the latest social media craze to follow their favourite sports superstars.

At present social media usage is pegged at 23%, a relatively low number compared to internet usage but this is surely going to head north as smartphones continue to become more accessible and cheaper.

This creates a fantastic opportunity for game centric companies to adapt their offers and products for the handheld market. LeoVegas proudly flaunt the moniker of being ‘King of Mobile’ which will surely attract a lot of users.

Population | Growing with no signs of Slowing

Out of the 1 billion plus people that live in India, there are 826 million aged between 18 to 64. A growing population with a middle class that shows healthy signs of upward trajectory means that the Indian is a bookmaker’s dream.

According to a recent study, 23 million people in India have the financial resources to place bets on their favourite matches. This may seem small for now but experts expect this number to balloon in a short amount of time.

Betting Market | Grey with Untapped Potential

Just as Scandinavia was once considered the hot bed of gambling activity a few years ago, India is now touted as the next go to destination for online gambling companies. Major gambling countries in Europe such as the UK, Italy, Germany and Sweden have fallen to gambling regulation. The regulators place heavy restrictions on the bookmakers in these regions which prompts them to look elsewhere into more relaxed markets.

Several companies have been fined by the UK Gambling Commission (UKGC) for failure to adhere to strict compliance guidelines. Just five days ago, Betway was fined a record £11.6 million for accepting stolen money from high-spending “VIP” customers. Some of these players displayed clear signs of gambling addiction which the bookmaker ignored.

Labour MP Carolyn Harris had the following to say regarding the incident “Just how exploitative has a gambling company got to be before the Gambling Commission suspends their licence? Betway’s fine for calculated and deliberate manipulation of VIP customers is paltry in comparison with the damage they will have caused to those caught in the web of VIP inducements. The industry is morally bankrupt, the Gambling Commission is complicit and both should be concerned that their ability to operate in this way is fast coming to an end.”

Richard Watson, one of the regulator’s executive directors, also chipped in “The actions of Betway suggest there was little regard for the welfare of its VIP customers or the impact on those around them.”

With such heavy fines being dished out to licensed operators it is no wonder that more and more bookmakers are now offering their services to markets such as India.

Along with India several other countries have been identified as emerging markets for gambling including Chile, Columbia, Peru, Brazil, Croatia and Portugal. These countries house large populations that are more than eager to gamble.

India’s Betting Market | Conclusion

The gambling market of India still remains fairly restrictive. The government has placed the onus on the individual states to decide on how they would like to deal with online gambling.

The Indian Law Commission (LCI) published a 145-page report recommending the regulation of online gambling across the country. Their argument was in favour of regulation to curb the increase in online betting activity in India.

ESSA (Sports Betting Integrity), a non-profit organisation that serves the interest of the sports betting community also is in favour of the regulation of the industry. As per them, a ban is not the way forward and what is required instead is to create a proper framework that will have a positive economic impact on the country.

Jaydeep Chakravartty, Commercial Director of Ingenuity Gaming had the following to say “Some unconfirmed reports have put the gaming market in India at $ 150 billion per year. Most of these are illegal games, and are controlled by crime unions and do not generate revenue for the government. By legalizing sports betting in India, the government can earn income, stop illegal gambling, and also generate new jobs. It won’t be effortless to establish how many jobs can be created by legalizing sports betting in India. However, to put things into perspective, one of the existing lottery operators, which has business in many states of India, created more than 300 thousand jobs in a single state.”

Chakravartty labels India as one of the last untapped markets in the gambling world and believes the regulation will provide a much needed boost to the employment sector “Their annual income exceeds the US $ 2 billion (from one state) and they have granted the US $ 500 million as taxes to a single state government. With the data we have at hand, I believe that the areas of job creation and revenue generation will get a big boost by legalizing sports betting in India”

Chakravartty also believes that India will follow the path of the US in terms of legalising gambling on a state by state basis “I am sure that the market will open eventually; however, no one will know when that will be. Also, I firmly believe that India will also follow the US route where the market will be legalized through the states and not at the level of federal or central. Each market is different, and it is the attention to local details that will help any company succeed in India. International gaming companies should explore the Indian market, understand the requirements, and be ready to make a move when the market opens”

Title: Four Key Factors that are Responsible for the Rise of the Indian Betting Market

Posted On: 30/06/2020

Author: Tony Willets