India has swiftly grown over the years into a global superpower, almost under the radar becoming leaders in many different industries.
One such sector where they can really take advantage of however, following recent new legislation is gambling, both on and offline.
It is being dubbed by industry experts as the last untapped market, which could help to boost the economy significantly.
Illegal, backstreet gambling has long been an issue in India, where people have found an excuse to bet on virtually anything, from ants crawling up a wall to snake charming.
Surge in middle class provides India with a platform to grow its gambling industry
Thanks to a combination of an increase in digital technologies and mobile Internet, as well as the fact that India has long been an outsourcing paradise, due to cheaper labour, this has helped to provide work to more people and create a middle class which will only continue to grow.
With a population of 1.3 billion and a GDP of $2.4 trillion, India is in prime position to take advantage of a market that can take the country by storm, with more and more disposable income available per person.
Jaydeep Chakravartty, Commercial Director of Ingenuity Gaming illustrates the benefits of how much of an impact that making gambling widely available in the country could have for the economy.
Speaking in 2018, he said: “Some unconfirmed reports have put the gambling market in India at $150 billion per year. Most of this is illegal gambling, and is controlled by the crime syndicates and does not generate any revenue for the government.
“By legalising sports betting in India, the government of the day can earn revenue, stop illegal gambling and also generate new jobs. It will be very difficult to put a number on how many jobs can be created by legalizing sports betting in India, however, to put things in perspective, one of the existing lottery operators, which has businesses in many states in India, has created 300,000+ jobs in one state alone,” Chakravartty continued.
“Their yearly revenue is in excess of $2 billion (from one state) and they have given $500 million as tax to one state government alone. With the data we have in hand, I think the areas of job creation and revenue generation will get a big boost by legalising sports betting in India.”
India’s sporting popularity makes it a no-brainer
Sport in the country is almost like a religion. Cricket and football teams fill out stadiums with crowds in their tens of thousands and the advertising opportunities for India’s promising gambling industry are endless.
It could help to spark a huge rise in the number of new gambling companies in the country, looking to take a significant share of the market and potential partnership deals indicate where there might be significant success.
The hugely profitable IPL represents a highly lucrative crossover with gambling which draws considerable publicity.
Former Olympian Ashish Ballal has spoken in favour recently of the decision, saying “The government can earn billions of dollars by legalising betting which can then be used for promoting sporting activities in the country.”
Platform already in place
Having grown considerably on the technological scene over the last decade, with a number of innovative startups, it shows that the country already has the infrastructure in place for the gambling industry to be a hit.
Of particular importance for any gambling company is the provision of mobile betting and India has witnessed vast improvements in the telecom space over the last decade, making WiFi more widely available and improving connectivity not just in major cities but rural communities as well, opening up an even bigger customer base.
The next couple of years will be interesting as to what happens in this industry, with many predicting that India could well rival some of the biggest global gambling nations.