The recent growth of online casinos and sportsbooks in India has been dramatic, with many industry leaders looking to gain a share of this new emerging market with a ton of potential. This has been a recent trend in the iGaming industry at large, with international online casinos entering unregulated markets due to low competition and a large population in their prime working years.
An unregulated market but with great potential
Casino Sites India, an online casino comparison site based in India, lists more than 30 online casinos that are open to Indian players. Many of these operators also come with features that are extremely convenient for local players such as using the de-facto standard payment network in India known as the Unified Payment Interface (UPI).
However, when it comes to the local laws, these sites operate in a grey area. For example, most states in the country do not allow any form of land-based casinos, and Indian companies are not allowed to run iGaming businesses in the country. However, if a foreign brand like Royal Panda or Bet365 wants to operate within the country too, it is free to do so as long as it complies with the KYC and AML laws.
This has created a situation where international players have an edge since there is no local competition. India is home to one of the largest smartphone markets worldwide and in recent years, internet connectivity has been massively improved across the country.
Along with a young population, India is one of the largest cricket betting markets in the world with its premier league (IPL) accounting for a huge volume of wagers.
While local companies have come up with solutions like fantasy sports games to take advantage of the demand, the online casino and sportsbook market still remains dominated by international players.
The future and what it implies
Over the last couple of years, online casino sites and sportsbooks have been on the rise in the country. However, there has been no sign of change in the legislature at a central level which implies that the current situation will continue for the foreseeable future.
To make things complicated, gambling is a state subject in the context of Indian law which means individual states are free to make rules regulating gambling in their own states. However, there hasn’t been any significant push against iGaming in most of the states.
Based on market news and forecasts, it seems like the online casino trend is just getting started and if things go really well, we might see signs of regulation and increased local competition in the future.