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Reasons behind the betting industry boom in India

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The global gambling market raked in a whopping $131.1 billion in revenue in 2020 and is expected to grow by a Compound Annual Growth Rate (CAGR) of 11.4 per cent yearly between 2021 to 2028, according to research by Fortune Business Insights. 

The numbers in India, too, are mind-boggling. Sports betting in the country is estimated to be a $150 billion (₹ 9.9 lakh crore net worth) industry. However, it is difficult to ascertain exact figures given a lack of government agencies to track the developments in the country.

Irrespective, the numbers are expected to go up in the coming years.

Factors responsible for the growth of the betting industry

Love for cricket knows no bounds

As per MyBetting statistics, there are more than 140 million regular betters in India but the number goes up to 370 million during major tournaments like the Indian T20 League. 

An estimated 80 per cent of all sports-related bets placed in India are on cricket matches.

Apart from that, there’s a lot of unsanctioned and illegal betting that happens in India, especially in the rural areas where people lack access to internet services. The population is speculated to be more than those involved in legitimate online betting currently.

However, every industry sees unorganised markets transition to organised setups once options are made available and the betting industry is no different. With rapid digitization throughout the country, which is leading to better connectivity even in rural areas, more and more users are expected to move into the mainstream betting world in the coming years.

Enticing the new millennials 

As per the research conducted by MyBetting statistics, Indians within the age group of 18 to 24 years constitute 44 per cent of the total betting population, while 32 per cent fall within the age bracket of 25 to 34. 

Given the trend, it is evident that betting is largely synonymous with the young population who are more open to trying out new ventures. 

Urban areas and metropolitan cities lead the way

Data reveals that betting is more prevalent in the western and southern belt of India that comprises the states of Telangana, Karnataka and Maharashtra, which constitute 18.7, 13.2 and 9.6 per cent of the country’s total betting population respectively. Metropolitan cities like Mumbai, Delhi, Chennai and Bengaluru form the heart of the online betting industry. 

Factors like widespread internet penetration, access to mobile phones and higher disposable income in the hands of people in metros have resulted in the overall growth of 20 per cent of betting users annually. 

Where does India’s future in betting lie? 

In 2018, the Law Commission of India had recommended the government for effective regularisation of betting in the country to curb the menace of illegal gambling and the boom of the black market in the country. 

Further, the Law Commission had also recommended classifying gambling into two categories, namely proper gambling (for rich who play for high stakes) and small gambling (low-income groups) 

However, there has been no change in stance from the government since. Despite the enormous potential, the future of betting in India will rely a lot on government regulations in the coming years.

Featured photo: Patrick Kovaric / AFP

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