India’s Land-Based Casino Revenue Falls, But iGaming Continues To Thrive
India had a thriving land-based casino industry in Goa but once COVID-19 broke out, it sounded the death knell of land-based gaming in Goa. India has reopened its land-based casino industry in Goa and things are getting back to normal post-COVID-19. However, the land-based casino industry continues to struggle post the pandemic.
Delta Corp Reports 12.2% Revenue Decline
Delta Corp, a leading gambling entertainment company in India, reported a 12.2% decline to US$35.5 million in its gross income quarter-on-quarter during the quarter leading to March 31, 2022.
The company says that the decline in gross income is because fewer players visited its land-based casinos in Sikkim and Goa from January 22 to February 22, 2022, because of Omicron, a new variant of Covid-19. But the company’s gross income is better than the US$34.5 million it reported during the quarter leading to March 2021. It increased by 48.4% year-on-year to US$100.5 million from April 1, 2021, to March 31, 2022.
Delta Corp is optimistic because Adda52.com, its online poker room, Adda52rummy.com, its rummy site, and LeagueAdda.com, its fantasy sports site reported a 19.1% increase in revenue to US$5.6 million. Jaydev Moday, the chairman of Delta Corp, said that the Q4 results close the year well, and the company is looking forward to another great year.
Delta Corp is the operator of Deltin JAQK and Deltin Royale, two of the biggest offshore casinos in India, and King Casino, India’s only floating hotel-casino, all of which are in Goa. The company also owns and operates the Deltin Suites in Sikkim’s Goa Casino Deltin Denzong and The Deltin in Daman.
Similar Situation Worldwide
The situation is similar at casino resorts worldwide. Travel bans and fresh waves of infection have caused great suffering for land-based casinos. In March, several brick-and-mortar casinos had to shut down. When they were permitted to re-open, they could not receive many players. Later, they had to shut down again.
Casinos in Las Vegas see fewer players but have to cope with increasing operational costs. Moreover, they had to spend their revenue on sanitation and rearranging gaming floors to ensure social distancing.
Indians are still not very eager to travel to Goa and play at their land-based casinos and we don’t expect that to change in the next few months.
Online Casinos Doing Brisk Business
The pandemic forced an extended lockdown in India and resulted in a significant increase in new players signing up at online casinos. Online gambling is still banned in most Indian states but since the legislation is rather grey regarding iGaming, a number of offshore gaming operators have increased their marketing spending to target Indian players during the last two years.
These offshore gaming operators have customised their offers to target Indian players. Many offshore gaming operators have now started accepting deposits and processing withdrawals in Indian rupees which have made it very attractive for Indian players. All of the top offshore casino operators have mobile-friendly online gaming sites that allow young Indians to play their favourite casino games on their smartphones and tablets while on the go.
The competition between offshore gaming operators in the Indian market has also increased during the pandemic. Gaming operators targeting the Indian market offer special welcome bonuses to new players awarding them hundreds of new spins and exciting cash bonuses in INR. Top gaming operators are also stocking their gaming portfolio with a number of desi-themed slots and live dealer casino games like teen-Patti and Anand Bahar to appeal to a wide range of Indian players.
Some casinos have also pushed things to the next level by offering their services in Hindi and providing live chat support in Hindi as well as some of the other regional languages. Multiple casino sites also offer specific payment options such as UPI and Paytm, which works throughout India and makes it for players to process their deposits and withdrawals.
Governments Express Concerns Over iGaming
The strong growth of the iGaming industry in India during the last couple of years has caught the attention of a number of anti-gambling groups who have filed public interest litigations (PILs) with multiple courts across India.
State governments are also concerned that they are missing out on significant revenue since online gambling is not legalised as they are not in a position to collect licensing fees or gaming taxes. During the next few months, multiple state governments will be put under pressure to make a decision to legalise online gambling or impose an amendment that will outright ban all forms of online gambling.