Betting in India: Just Who Is Participating, and What Are the Trends?

There is no question that online betting and games are becoming huge in India. In 2022, the country grossed almost $40 million in online activity. But who exactly are the participants? What are their specific interests, and where are the trends headed?

One might think that usage is limited to those who bet on football matches specifically, or some other particular activity. But this isn’t necessarily true. Let’s take a closer look at some of the specific directions that the industry is headed in and how it is expected to grow in the near future.

History of gambling in India

Gambling has been big in India for some time. The British brought it in the 17th century, and Indians quickly took to the idea. Because of government concerns about the growth of the activity, the Public Gambling Act of 1867 was passed to try to curb its proliferation.

At this point, it is estimated that as much as 40% of those who use the Internet in the country gamble on an annual basis. Forms and frequency vary, of course, but this is still an impressive number. Unfortunately, many forms of gambling are still illegal in the country, so it is difficult to obtain precise numbers.

Despite the legal status, Indians aren’t slowing down at all. In fact, the market is soaring and is projected to continue growing at an increasingly fast pace. Experts estimate that the market is expected to grow at an annual rate of almost 9% by 2027.

What are people playing?

The most popular online activity in the country is casino games. This market comprised $38 million in revenue in 2022, and is expected to grow to $74 million over the next five years. One reason for the projected growth is the increasing popularity of mobile usage and easily accessible apps that people can download. Users also note that certain apps provide big bonuses, which serves as an extra incentive.

This isn’t the only popular activity, though. People often look for an Indian sports betting site where they can get on and put a wager on their favorite team. More and more of these kinds of sites are opening up all the time.

Are there differences among the regions?

Very much so. The Indian government regulates each state differently. In fact, sports betting is only legal in Sikkim, Nagaland, and Meghalaya. And within each of those places, people are only allowed to bet on particular sports. For example, in Sikkim it is only legal to bet on golf, chess, cricket, football, lawn tennis, and horse racing. Of course, many people manage to get around these regulations and place bets regardless of their location.

Who is taking part?

The age range of average Indian gamblers is from 20 to 45. The Indian population is a young one overall, of course, but nonetheless the appeal of online gambling is skewed towards the younger segments of the population. The reasons for this have a lot to do with familiarity with the Internet overall. Older people are less likely to get online and experiment with things they grew up with in person. In addition, mobile apps are taking over as the most popular medium of usage. As older people are far more reluctant in general to use these kinds of apps, they aren’t taking advantage of them nearly as much as young people are.

Another interesting fact about online gambling in the country is the gender balance. One might think that activity is dominated heavily by men, but this isn’t the case at all. In fact, women are estimated to comprise 40% of those who use these sites. It is said that site owners are on to this trend, and that advertisers are making concerted attempts to appeal to women in an effort to attract more of them to their sites.

The pace will likely continue

Because of the ease of usage, convenience, and potential for big winning that online betting sites offer the Indian population, the popularity will surely continue to grow. Hopefully, players will remain savvy and not stake too much on untrustworthy sites where they stand to lose. It would be wise for the government to acknowledge the trends taking place and shape future regulations accordingly.


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