There was a time when only the upper-middle class in India had access to the internet. That’s no longer the case.

Everyone knows India has one of the largest populations in the world for a single country. But something that only tech experts could’ve been able to predict was the potential hiding within the Indian online audience. The potential for what, you ask? Well, so many things!

The growth of nationwide internet penetration in recent years has led to Indians making up a large chunk of the global online community. Music, videography, technology, art, and even online learning — Indians have grown to dominate hundreds of online industries. Among the largest, rapidly growing online markets that have attracted the attention of the Indian public are online gaming and gambling. Today, these two markets are taking the online space in the country by storm. With hundreds of Indian online casinos and online gaming platforms popping up all over the Indian side of the internet, it’s impossible to ignore the growth of online gambling and gaming in India.

To understand how these markets became so huge in the country, let’s take a look at their evolution before they got to this stage.

The History of Gaming and Gambling in India

The history you attribute to gaming in India depends on what you include under its definition. Traditionally, gaming could include the primitive forms of dice and marble games, the modern forms of video games, and the controversial forms of live casino games. 

Ancient Indian tribes used to make games out of stones, rocks, and other natural objects. But we don’t need to go that far back. The principle and format of the games are what transcended time. These games, which have been passed down generations for centuries, were all based on the same premise: using skills to win. The complications arose when casino games, which were based on quite the opposite premise, came around.

You see, most casino games aren’t based on skills. They’re based on chance, which led to people arguing about their unfairness. These types of games eventually left the “gaming” umbrella and fell into the “gambling” one. Today, Indian authorities are using the same distinction to establish laws regarding gaming and gambling. In the eyes of the Indian law, every game you play to win can fall into one of the two distinct categories: game of skills (which are largely legal), or games of chance (which are largely illegal). 

Gaming and Gambling Goes Online

In the age of digitalization, gaming and gambling had to adapt to the online space. The format of the games was simple to adapt into a live version that players could access through the internet. So, game developers and software providers made online versions of not just popular video games, but also live casino games. Indian gamblers can now easily play classic Indian casino games like Andar Bahar and Teen Patti on Indian live casinos.

Once the best online video games, online media channels, and online casinos became accessible to the Indian audience, the market appeal became irresistible. Millions of Indians started joining the market, resulting in huge profits for local and international companies. This, in turn, led to more game providers and live casino developers entering the Indian market. Eventually, the gaming and gambling markets in India became some of the nation’s largest industries that are thriving to date.

The Growth of the Two Markets

The Indian gaming and gambling markets might have started gaining notoriety quite recently, but their potential was always there. 

The two markets ultimately started their upward spiral due to increasing internet access in India. But that’s not the only contributing factor! In the past decade, tech experts have paid close attention to the markets in India. Their studies have suggested that the Indian online gaming and gambling markets have the potential to generate revenues of up to $2 billion. From a business standpoint, this is too lucrative of an industry to ignore.

Another very important thing that the growing market concentration led to was foreign interest. International casino software providers and live casino game developers identified the huge Indian market that had been untapped up to that point. So, they decided to tap into it. Entering a market of over 500 million active customers was simply too good of an opportunity to miss. That’s why the markets have grown to the sizes they are today, with no signs of slowing down anytime soon.

The Current Status of Gaming and Gambling in India

Just because an industry is internally thriving doesn’t always mean that the legal authorities are in support of it, too. The online gaming and gambling markets in India are suffering the same fate. Online gaming involving games of skill (which is most video games) is generally accepted throughout the country. However, online gambling involving games of chance (which are most casino games) are generally banned in India. This is solely due to the perceived unfairness of the latter.

For years, these practices have been looked down upon in the country due to their perceived risks and dangers. However, the perception is gradually changing. As major sports leagues and celebrities continue endorsing online casinos and sports betting sites, the authorities might be becoming more lenient. A decade ago, nobody would’ve expected gaming and gambling to become an entire culture in a country that barely had access to the internet — but it happened! So, who’s to say that the legal attitudes towards online gaming and gambling in India won’t change in the next few years?

About the Author

The author of this guest post is a professional bookmaker. He’s currently associated with Live Casino India, a leading online gambling platform. The author has helped compile numerous live casino reviews and informative blog content on the portal. As a part of the Live Casino India team, he aims to increase Indian gamblers’ access to the best live casinos in India, casino payment methods, live casino games, and other features.