There are reasons that certain parts of the world get described as the ‘hubs’ or centres for certain types of technology or industries. In China, QR codes are one of the most popular forms of payment, London is known as the fintech capital of the world, largely because of its influx of start-ups and connections to global economies. Portugal is often seen as another incredibly popular technology hub in the Mediterranean. In India, technology, and specifically online gambling and gaming are king. The environment there is one that came down three key factors, a huge population, a strong preference towards tech industry investments and a level of existing development – particularly in the payment industry – that made it a perfect climate for an online gambling industry to thrive. In sheer cash valuation, the numbers are startling.
In 2019, the gaming industry of India was reported to have a net worth exceeding 62 billion Rupees – and showed no sign of slowing. The population of India, some 1.3 billion people, goes some way to explaining this growth, but the reality comes down to more than having a large ‘potential’ customer base. It’s more nuanced than that. To understand why this nation – now on it’s way to becoming the third-largest global economy – is also becoming the home for online gambling innovation, we need to look at different factors altogether, specifically related to the investments pumping into the region and the changing culture that facilitates it.
Technological innovation operates like any other form of innovation. Competition pushes everyone forward. India enjoys some of the healthiest competition in it’s gambling industry. The immobility of some of India’s more traditional, physical gambling establishments has been a factor. The market is thriving with the introduction of some of the vibrant disruptive newcomers like Genesis Casino, who are able to deliver cutting-edge content digitally to an audience in India where, as we’ve seen, internet and mobile usage are soaring. In comparison, many of the older establishments who rely on physical locations are struggling to adapt to the new environment.
A prominent Vietnamese game studio and large Chinese conglomerates recently partnered with an Indian software company, one of several high-profile partnerships occurring to develop higher-quality arcade-style gaming. One Chinese software business announced laid out plans to pump approximately $10 million dollars into India-based game development. European software firms have opened new offices in India recently too, pointing to the attraction of the Indian market as far more than a local affair of Asian businesses flooding into the market.
As noted, the need for certain conditions in a market contributes to this investment interest. Firstly, internet usage in India is exploding right now. India’s billions of people make up the second-highest number of internet users globally, trailing only to China. What’s more, as a rapidly growing economy, job creation thanks to the online industries like gambling and casinos have been a major benefit to a relatively young populous (around 50% of Indians are under 25). As an industry delivering so many benefits to everyday people through to international investments, it’s no question that the mutually beneficial situation will continue to breed new prospective suitors wanting to lay down roots in India.
It’s a great sign for global innovation, most importantly, India’s workforce and the economy will be able to enjoy the investments into their country for many years to come, too.