The online gambling industry in India has become a gigantic entity – covering everything from fantasy gaming to skill gaming apps. This industry has seen enormous growth in the past couple of years, so much so that the global valuation of the gambling industry is over 72 billion US dollars, according to a report by IMARC Group.
Out of this cake, a huge slice has been taken by the Indian market, which is largely due to the fact that India has over 1 billion people in the country. By 2024, India is expected to have over 600 million internet users in the country, which means that a huge chunk of the population is regularly exposed to online gaming platforms for sports betting or card games.
However, the industry is also held back due to unclear laws and a lack of regulation in the country. There has been some talk of the Indian government wanting to put down central laws that govern the online gambling space in India, however, any moves in this direction have not yet taken place.
With such a quickly growing industry, there is no dearth of new start-ups as well as growing investment in the sector. In the last half a decade itself, many igaming brands have overtaken the Indian market, whether it be fantasy gaming brands, online sports betting sites, or online casino and skill gaming apps.
“The Indian public is already very used to the presence and use of online gambling apps. Who hasn’t seen Dream 11 ads during the IPL?” says Vasudha Dewan, the Editor-in-Chief of MyBettingSites.com, a comparison website for betting sites.
“In fact, so many international brands are using surrogate advertising techniques and displaying ads during huge tournaments, calling themselves blogs or news websites – but the Indian public already knows what they are. While the government can try and put a stop to these tactics, the long-term solution is to introduce laws and a central body that hands out licenses and regulates the practices of all betting brands. Not only will this curb any unsafe or illegal activities, but it will allow even more economic growth in the industry.”
The Indian government also has great potential to boost the Indian economy by legalizing online gambling and earning a great profit by charging GST on all transactions done online. In fact, the Maharashtra government looked at a proposal to legalize online betting a few years ago, which estimated that by charging GST on online gaming transactions, the state government could have earned Rs. 2500 crores every year!
This is apart from the countless jobs and opportunities that such an industry could create if it was allowed to operate with the official say-so from the government, and to its full extent. This sector could easily create jobs for sectors such as web development, digital marketing, digital payments, content writing, and customer service, to name a few.
With about half of the country already engaged in online gaming in one way or another, is it more prudent to ignore the situation or instead to take control and introduce central laws and regulations? For now, the Indian government is choosing to do the first.
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