Alibaba, SoftBank and Tencent Holdings Investing Millions into Indian iGaming Companies
The majority of Indian states do not allow legalized online gambling and online betting since games of chance have been banned for decades. However, multiple states have loopholes in their gaming legislation and iGaming operators are looking to take advantage of these loopholes and promote their games as games of skill and not games of chance.
This is why the Indian iGaming market has grown exponentially in the last couple of years as both domestic and offshore operators have launched iGaming portals offering popular local games such as rummy, teen-patti and daily fantasy sports (DFS).
Some of the biggest gaming operators from around the world have been keeping a close watch on the Indian gaming market as they know that they can bring in high revenues if they succeed in breaking into a market which has over 1.3 billion people.
New reports have emerged that some of the biggest Chinese companies including Alibaba Ground Holdings, SoftBank Group Corp and Tencent Holdings are pouring in hundreds of millions of dollars into Indian gaming companies to help them fund their iGaming apps and websites.
The extra funding enables Indian gaming companies to ramp up their offerings by offering lucrative promotions which include trips to Macau, China –the biggest gambling hub in the world.
E&Y Research Shows iGaming Fastest Growing Market
Mukesh Ambani who is the richest man in India has gone on record to state that he expects the iGaming market to boom in the coming years. It’s just a matter of time before his Reliance brand comes out with their own iGaming portal and app.
Ernst & Young (E&Y) did a study of the Indian market and their report shows that iGaming is the fastest growing market in the country. E&Y carried out a market study covering 2018 till 2021 and looked at multiple industries including iGaming, Television, Music, Animation and visual effects, Films and Digital media.
The study showed that television, music and films will experience a 10 percent growth; Animation and visual effects will have an 18 percent growth rate while digital media will have a 28 percent growth rate. iGaming stands head and shoulders above the rest of the industries as it is estimated to have a growth rate of over 35 percent.
It is important to note that these figures are in reference to overall growth rate and not in terms of overall revenue. The combined revenue of television, movies and TV shows is estimated to be around $12 billion annually. iGaming is still far behind those overall numbers. Mukesh Ambani believes that by 2024, the industry will be able to generate around $3.3 billion.
The iGaming market in India was estimated to have close to 300 million players at the start of 2020. This number is expected to nearly double by the end of the year. The complete lockdown in India from mid-March to mid-April has helped this cause as millions of Indians ended up spending loads of time playing online games on their mobile phones, computers and tablets.
What Games Are Indian Players Attracted To?
The best way to figure out what Indian players are attracted to is to examine the current Indian gaming market. The most popular gaming apps in India right now include Dream11, FanFight, Paytm First Games and Play Games24x7. Most of these apps give players access to games like rummy, daily fantasy sports and teen-patti.
The online poker market is also growing in India as websites like Poker Baazi and Adda52 continue to report an increase in online traffic and player sign-ups. However, there is no confusion when it comes to figuring out which is the most popular game in India as online cricket has always been number 1.
Daily Fantasy Sports apps always promote cricket as it the most watched game in India. When the Indian cricket team is playing, DFS cricket apps witness significant traffic spikes. With the Indian Premier League (IPL) 2020 season put on hold and no cricket action taking place around the world, cricket lovers in India are spending loads of time on cricket fantasy apps.
Indian lawmakers are being urged by the National Indian Gaming Association to reconsider their stance on iGaming and legalize the industry. When more states lift the ban on iGaming, it will bring in massive investment from major iGaming operators and investors around the world! The Indian economy could use an influx of foreign investment and could look at iGaming in a new light in 2021!