India iGaming Market To Attract Over $1B In Investments By 2022
The COVID-19 pandemic has caused significant problems for India as it resulted in over 394,000 deaths as of June 2021 and cost the Indian economy billions of dollars. While millions of Indians suffered and businesses across the country struggle to stay afloat, the online gambling market in the country has done well.
This is because the extended lockdown forced millions of Indians to turn online for entertainment, and online casino operators were more than happy to welcome them with lucrative welcome bonuses and exciting offers.
iGaming Market To Attract Over $1B In Investments
The iGaming market has witnessed a massive boom during the last 18 months, both in terms of the number of new gamers and investment. Maple Capital Advisors says that the iGaming market attracted $544 million between August 2020 and January 2021. That is a massive investment into India, especially when the country is struggling financially due to the pandemic.
Maple Capital Advisors believes that this investment will double before the end of Dec 2022. Pankaj Karna, CEO for Maple Capital Advisors, believes that this is because India now accounts for more than 15 percent of all global gaming traffic. There are several top gaming companies keen on tapping into this lucrative market.
One main way for them to do this is by investing in the Indian gaming market. Karna believes that the main segment that will attract investment is real money games. States that have clear-cut gaming laws and make it clear that games of skills are legal will be the ones that attract the most investment.
Maple Capital Advisors says that India continues to be on the radar of gaming investors as over 67 percent of millennials in India are engaged in gaming activities.
India – Second Biggest Market For iGaming
The second reason that the online gambling market has exploded in India is due to the increase in smartphone users and cheaper access to 4G connections, especially in rural India. Reports show that India had more than 500 million smartphone users at the end of 2020, close to 50 percent of the Indian population.
KPMG released a report that showed that the end of March 2018, there were 250 million gamers, and that number has now increased to 400 million gamers as of June 2020. Expect the number of smartphone users and online gamers to grow significantly by the time we get to the end of 2021.
This will further boost the gross gaming revenues of iGaming operators and continue to cause the Indian online gaming market to grow rapidly. KPMG states that they expect the online gaming market in India to generate over $670 million by the end of 2021 and surpass $815 million by the end of 2025.
Do note that KPMG has not considered daily fantasy sports (DFS) when compiling these numbers as this is a huge market in India by itself and is poised to double between 2021 and 2025.
Multiple States May Reconsider iGaming Legalization
Online gambling is still a grey area in many states who will soon have to decide whether to legalize or ban online gambling. Given the amount of investment that the iGaming industry is set to attract in the next few years, state governments have to decide on whether to legalize gambling and open their markets up to investment or ban online gambling and close their doors to millions of dollars in funding.
States like Tamil Nadu and Andhra Pradesh banned online gambling recently as they felt that they were not able to regulate gambling and control the industry, especially when they had to deal with COVID-19. However, don’t be a surprise if these states reverse this decision in the near future.
Tamil Nadu banned online gambling under the ruling AIADM government just before they lost power. The ruling DMK government might be a lot more open to iGaming legalization as they are keen on bringing in more investment into Tamil Nadu. They have enlisted the services of former RBI governor Raghuram Rajan who has joined the government’s economic council.
If some of the more prominent states like Delhi and Maharashtra decide to legalize online gambling, you can expect several smaller states to follow in their footsteps quickly. Most state governments are still dealing with COVID-19 and are focused on rolling out plans to help both the people and the economy recover. We might see them reconsider online gambling legalization as we roll into 2022.