Gambling and sports betting have been a part of Indian culture for a while. Especially with the love that Indians have for cricket, it is hardly surprising that the popularity of sports betting websites is at an all-time high!
In fact, in the last couple of years during 2020 and 2021, the use of betting sites has gone up exponentially. The online betting industry is projected to be worth billions of dollars in the upcoming few years.
But how has the Indian online betting industry managed to attract audiences in a time when several other industries have taken a hit due to the pandemic and its resulting negative effects on the Indian economy?
There have been several factors that have contributed to the continuous upward trends in the use of betting sites in India. Starting from the strides in the technology of digital payments in India to the increasing use of smartphones amongst the Indian population, the online betting niche has experienced the benefits of many such technological advancements in the country.
One of the biggest factors that have helped increase the use of betting sites has been the growing shift from a cash-based economy to one based on digital payment methods such as UPI, Internet Banking, as well as online wallets.
UPI as well as related third-party apps like Google Pay, PhonePe, and Paytm, have perhaps the biggest role to play. With more and more people now using these wallets to make quick, easy, and secure payments directly from their bank accounts, the hesitation of using money online has lessened in the Indian community. As a result, people who were previously not exposed to online gaming have now taken to it.
Additionally, so many betting sites have now begun to accept payments in these local and popular digital payment platforms, making it convenient for users to transfer money securely and reliably.
Another contributing factor has been the widely accessible mobile data now available to people from all walks of life, thanks to the competitive prices offered by telcos. Readily available internet at all times of the day can definitely crank up the use of online gaming apps as well as online betting sites that provide an alternative form of entertainment.
One really important reason behind the online betting industry’s rise to prominence is the Covid-19 pandemic itself. While it may sound counter-intuitive that the pandemic could help in the growth of an industry, that’s exactly the case with online gaming in India.
Due to the pandemic and the repeated lockdowns, many people were obviously stuck at home, with little work and even lesser entertainment options. This is where real-money gaming apps stepped up and provided a fresh, new way of enjoying the internet – play games while also maybe winning some money.
Last but not least, since more and more celebrities are now endorsing online gambling platforms and apps, common people are more likely to use these apps in their daily lives. Advertising and celebrity endorsements, especially from cricket personalities and Bollywood actors, have made the online betting industry a more widely discussed topic in the country.
This increased exposure has definitely resulted in an upward trend that is likely to continue for the foreseeable future. Adding to this, a chance of regulation from the government might just make the online betting industry into the gold mine that it has the potential to become – for creating employment opportunities for the people as well as income opportunities for the government through taxation.