There is no doubt that gaming start-ups are huge in India right now. According to Maple Capital Advisor, the sector attracted $544 million in investments between August 2020 and January 2021. Compare that with the $350 million raised between 2014 and May 2020 and you can see how much the Indian gaming industry is thriving.
So, what about the igaming section of the market? There is no doubt that there is big demand for igaming in India. Residents spend about $5 billion playing at these sites each year. As a result, new sites that cater for the Indian market are created all the time. One of the biggest names in this area is Jungle Raja where players can deposit using rupees. The site is highly regarded. Take a look at JustGamblers where Jungle Raja casino has been rated 5 stars.
Given the obvious potential of the market that sites like Jungle Raja are tapping into, you would think that igaming start-ups would be a safe bet in India. However, the situation is not that simple. The infrastructure and demand may be in place but there are legal challenges to be met.
Legal challenges facing igaming start-ups
The legal situation regarding igaming in India is considered to be a state issue as there has been no overall regulation provided by the national government. The only legal land-based casinos in the country are based in states like Goa and Sikkim.
When it comes to igaming, there is no legislation that specifically covers playing casino games online as an individual. However, there is legislation that prevents any company based in India from creating igaming content. The only exception to this is games of skill such as fantasy sports which is a popular phenomenon in India as it is internationally.
This legal issue makes it difficult for start-ups in India to enter the igaming market. This is why offshore providers that cater for the Indian market are so popular.
Is the Indian igaming landscape likely to change?
When you consider the fact that Internet penetration continues to increase in India, it seems likely that the appetite for igaming will only continue to grow. This means that there is huge potential for a regulated igaming market in the country.
If the market is ever regulated this could raise a great deal of additional revenue for the Indian government. It could also open the door for more India-based start-ups to enter the market. This is a potentially exciting prospect as it would mean that games and payment options could be further tailored to Indian players.
However, until regulation happens players can still enjoy the igaming experience at reputable offshore sites that dedicate their service to the Indian market. This being the case, gaming start-ups in India are likely to concentrate on non igaming activities right now. However, they will also be ready to leap into the igaming sector should the situation regarding regulation change in the future.