From Delhi to Hyderabad, six major cities in India reportedly make up two-thirds of the country’s online casino players, according to a research report by online casino comparison site SevenJackpots.
Digital technology elevates gambling popularity in India
More and more consumers are making the shift towards digital experiences, especially in light of the COVID-19 pandemic. The continued global lockdowns have resulted in more people turning to technology for their daily activities, including recreation. This is especially true for the online gaming industry, which has achieved “new highs” globally with more people playing from the comforts and safety of their homes.
India, in particular, is enjoying a massive surge in online gaming popularity—the mobile-first country now stands as one of the top five gaming markets around the world. Government figures showed that there are 760 million Internet users in the country, and out of that number, an estimated 365 million users play games via their mobile phones.
Analysts at SevenJackpots broke down the figures on a state-by-state level and found that highly urbanized states and cities make up the majority of the online gambling players in the country. Based on aggregated data, the report identified the six major cities (and their states) that add up to almost two-thirds of all Indian online casino players:
“Mumbai, Delhi, Kolkata, Chennai, Bangalore, and Hyderabad lead the pack,” according to the SevenJackpots report. “They confirm the importance of tech development, business climate, and media exposure. Pune, Ahmedabad, and Surat also rate well in online gambling.”
In addition, the states which are home to those top 6 Indian cities also “ensure the majority of online gambling, with 62.1% of all online casino customers,” the report noted. These states include Maharashtra and Telangana—both considered as low-poverty, high-income locations—which bring in more than 1/6 of user visits and online casino registrations, followed by West Bengal, Karnataka, and even Uttar Pradesh.
Gaming growth in India driven by rise in mobile use: ENV Media
India’s growth as a mobile-first market can be attributed to several factors, the foremost of which is the wide availability of affordable digital tools like mobile devices complemented by cheap data packages. Consumers in India are already using 14.5GB of data on a monthly basis, with three out of four Indian gamers playing at least twice a day.
An ENV Media report, which analyses different surveys and research papers on India’s mobile gaming market, also highlights two major factors contributing to the recent rise in online gambling popularity: consumers have rediscovered online gaming amid COVID lockdowns, and better internet penetration and hybrid content delivery in the country. In fact, “almost half of responding gamers play in 10-minute sessions between daily chores or when taking breaks” while the committed gamers commit “up to an hour per single sitting” of play time, according to ENV Media analysts.
At the rate it’s going, India, which already has around 40 percent of its Internet users gambling, is poised to surpass the United Kingdom in the number of people gambling, according to Parimatch International CMO Dmitry Belianin.
“In some form or the other it [gambling] has been part of the culture and has been passed on down the generations. As time progressed and technology made advancements, the iGaming world also progressed along with it, making India the second largest market for iGaming across the globe,” Belianin told the Times of India.