India’s fast growing online gaming poised to cross US$2B by 2023: EY report

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The way of gaming may have changed in the advent of digital technology, but the love for it remains the same. This is especially true for mobile-friendly India, now considered to be the one of the fastest growing online gaming markets in the world.

Mobile gaming industry grows in game-friendly India

The pandemic has demonstrated how much people’s consumption habits have changed, with many consumers opting for the digital route as they go about their activities. Even recreation and entertainment activities are now being done online, with people still opting to stay indoors even as governments are easing the lockdowns brought about by coronavirus.

Sports and gaming, in particular, are seen as a traditional source of recreation and engagement for both players and spectators around the world. In India, gambling has historically been popular, and digital technology has prompted more players to opt for online casino games, paving the way for a more dynamic domestic gambling market.

In fact, figures from an All-India Gaming Federation EY report estimated that the domestic market for online gaming will reach over US$2 billion in 2023, up 22 percent CAGR from US$906 million in 2019.

“The domestic industry has the potential to scale quickly and become a meaningful contributor,” according to the EY report. “Digitizing the gaming industry has led to tapping into an otherwise unorganised sector and brought more accountability.”

Tech-savvy consumers contribute to real money gaming popularity

In these times of long-haul social distancing, people of all ages and from different walks of life are turning to online games for relief. As pointed out by Witzeal Technologies Pvt. Ltd. Founder & CEO Ankur Singh, multiplayer games are opening the doors for video game enthusiasts to build friendships online, and possibly even stay connected for years to come.

The tech-savvy youth plays an important role in this current climate, which ENV Media analysts have described as “contemporary consumption,” one that is driven by “those young, tech-savvy Indian players who lead the way by defining the consumer profile.”

Online mobile gaming penetration is currently at 12.6 percent of the total population in the country, and this is expected to reach 16.1 percent by 2025 as more young urban middle classes enjoy their mobile casino apps while commuting to work or at lunch, the ENV Media report noted.

This is complemented by the widespread availability of affordable smartphones, along with various mobile data packs at low prices as well as the advent of 5G technology—making online gaming an activity that can be enjoyed by anyone, anywhere.

What the real money gaming industry needs right now is a robust regulatory and legal environment that will help the industry scale even faster. Specifically, the policy makers in India have to develop a central regulatory framework, one that promotes responsible gambling, which will result in a thriving market that will help boost the country’s economy.

“Considering the humongous potential that India’s online gaming industry-which is the fourth largest market globally- holds, the industry requires a robust regulatory and legal environment to help the business scale quickly. Once the government comes with a clear, specific and effective policy to promote responsible gaming, the industry will realize its true potential,” Singh said.

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