India, where the love of gambling is deeply rooted in the country’s culture, has acquired a taste for online casino games, especially slots.
Delhi is the Slots’ Capital in India
This is especially true in many Western-influenced cities in India, where the online gambling market is experiencing natural growth, particularly in locations with better internet penetration and an increasing number of mobile device usage.
A case in point is Delhi. In fact, a new ENV Media report on online casino games showed how the city is already leading the pack when it comes to playing slots online. According to the report, which utilized data aggregated from popular online casino site PureWin, gamers in the busy city of Delhi now prefer slots over other games, although sports betting is also a popular genre in the city.
ENV Media analysts said, “…we can see that “Western” casino standards such as roulette and Slots have firmly taken root in more than half of all Indian states, especially metropolitan areas (Mumbai and Delhi as distinct administrative units peak in Slots).”
Tech-savvy players are shaping the country’s online gambling market, and this is especially evident in cities like Delhi which have the highest internet penetration at 68 percent, according to data from the Internet & Mobile Association of India and Nielsen report.
It’s also worth noting that Delhi, as well as Mumbai, is among the most Western-influenced cities in the country. The city also has the highest HDI (Human Development Index) score of 0.839 driven by high scores in the areas of health, education, and income.
Regulatory Uncertainty Plays a Role in Raising of Online Alternatives
Online casino sites saw their popularity rise in recent years, when many states have attempted to make gambling illegal instead of providing licenses for casinos to operate in a regulated market, utilizing the mature gaming jurisdictions in Europe as perfect examples of how to regulate an economic-boosting industry.
With Indian law enforcement authorities cracking their whip on both local gambling operators and players, many gamblers have started looking for offshore and online entertainment options—and even when the high courts have struck down the states’ blanket bans on gambling, user traffic and registrations on online gambling platforms do not drop.
However, having a clear regulatory framework is an important factor to ensure that the government will have control as the industry continues to grow. At the moment, industry stakeholders have taken it upon themselves to police their operations on their own via self-regulating bodies with charters, which are effectively toothless tigers in the face of law enforcement given that these rules only apply to their members.
As the industry continues to grow, with no signs of stopping anytime soon, it’s the perfect opportunity for the government to take the leap forward towards properly regulating online gaming. So far, they’re already making some progressive strides as evidenced by the Union Budget 2022-23 that has placed a heavy focus on digital infrastructure and investment along with plans to promote the Animation, Visual Effects, Gaming, and Comics (AVGC) sector, which is forecast to reach Rs 3 lakh in the next two years.
The current product convergence seen within India’s online gambling market is good news for the industry because it shows there is a common ground that paves the way for more efficient online casino operations. However, as the ENV Media analysts concluded in their report “there is still much work to be done – especially “on the ground” by local and national policymakers and digital industry regulators – so that more gambling vertical stakeholders could capitalize on the Indian market potential.”