Why Have Online Casinos in India Grown in Popularity?

Online casinos have been taking off in India over the last decade. Click here to find out why and how far it might go in the future.

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It goes without saying that the iGaming market has seen rapid growth over the last two decades. With approximately 6.94 billion people owning smartphones around the globe, online casinos are just a quick tap away for everyone who exceeds the age limit, leading the market to reach a projected $100 billion by the end of 2024. 

If anything, the online casino industry should be worth more than what it is right now, considering how many regions have regulations that stop online gambling from becoming a common practice. In the US alone, only six states currently allow online gambling, and elsewhere in the world, the iGaming industry has only recently been allowed to blossom – which is part of the reason global revenue has shot up in the last few years.

But for many of these countries, it is simply a matter of when rather than if. In India, for instance, the online casino industry has been seeing huge growth in recent years despite the fact that gambling is forbidden under the Public Gambling Act of 1867. India itself is now a frontrunner in the iGaming landscape, becoming an essential ‘iGaming hub’ that brings in a significant portion of the overall market revenue. According to recent projections, too, nearly 13 million Indian users might be occupying the online gambling market by 2027, with a big chance the number of online players will surpass the United Kingdom in percentage. 

With all of this in mind, it’s interesting to look at exactly why there’s such a growth in online gambling popularity in India, how the market has been allowed to blossom, and whether other countries will soon follow suit. To answer these questions, we’re going to look at the specific aspects of online casinos and how they have brought so many Indian players on board.


Convenience and Accessibility

The first thing to note is that India is big. Like, very big. With a total area of 3.287 million square kilometres, India is the seventh largest country in the world, so land-based casinos are not going to be hanging around every corner.  Nearly 70% of people in India live in completely rural areas, where land-based casinos are extremely limited or entirely non-existent, and this has opened up the door for the iGaming industry to fill a void. 

Ever since their initialization in 1994, online casinos have given more people than ever the chance to play their favourite games without having to travel to a traditional casino. From the comfort of your own home, you can pick up your phone, log onto a casino, and start playing anything from blackjack to online slots in a matter of seconds. This kind of convenience and accessibility has been key for online casino growth around the world, but it is particularly crucial in India, where online casinos are the only way a lot of the population can play these games.

Diverse Gaming Options

Even Indian citizens who do have a land-based casino near them, however, will often choose an online casino instead. Again, this is largely due to convenience – rather than dress up and travel to a land-based casino, it’s far easier to simply pick one on your phone and start playing immediately – but it’s also got to do with the quality of online casino games themselves. 

Across the internet, thousands of online casinos are offering a wide, diverse range of gaming options, from slots that fit your favourite theme – be it adventure, horror, or sports – to variations of roulette that fit the way you want to play. In India, specifically, there are plenty of Indian-themed titles to choose from, including popular games like Indian Cash Catcher and Pearls of India – both of which have an impressive RTP of 95% to 97% respectively.


Bonuses and Promotions

It’s also important to remember the incentives that come with playing online casinos. In India, specifically, there are plenty of bonuses and promotions that can engage Indian players and keep them coming back for more. From welcome bonuses of ₹18,000 to 5% daily cashback, Indian players can get an immediate boost and grow their deposit, allowing them to play more games with more cash, and subsequently attain higher chances of winning. 

There are also seasonal bonuses, such as the current Spring Eggspedition, which gives players the chance to earn prizes from a ₹7,500,000 prize pool. Incentives like this can be the difference between players who are actively engaged and players who will take a quick look, have a quick play, and then fail to come back. With bonuses and promotions, Indian players are constantly given reasons to try out new casinos and enjoy the range of games that they have to offer. 

Regulatory Environment

We mentioned before that we would explain how the online casino market has grown in India, as well as why, and this mainly comes down to the gambling attitudes present in the country. In general, the attitude towards online gambling in India has long been positive, with gambling seen as another way to socialise with others. With plenty of online casinos in India simultaneously forming a social hub – where players can talk to one another and exchange tactics – this attitude still hasn’t died even in the digital age. Regulations have also played a big part. 

As mentioned previously, the Public Gambling Act has been in place since 1867, but obviously, this act doesn’t say anything about online gambling, which is part of the reason why so many states permit it. Not every state in India does, of course, but the regulations put in place have ironically led to a surge in the number of online players, as well as increased investments on a domestic and international scale, with businesses attempting to tap into such a big market – 1.417 billion people, in fact – that’s just waiting to boom.


Technological Advancements

In line with these investments, India has also seen a huge boom in technology, with one of the most notable evolutions being the introduction of 5G. While 5G adoption is not yet as widespread as in other countries, the network is steadily reaching more regions, which similarly helps them to engage with online casinos and make the most out of them. This has similarly allowed India to keep up with the latest online casino trends. One of the most popular aspects of an online casino in 2024, for instance, is the live dealer, which allows players to compete against others in front of a real, live-streamed dealer. 

With immersion being a big priority for so many gamers, this has helped players to feel more immersed and engaged with their favourite casinos, helping to build a specific atmosphere and build upon the more social aspect – which as we mentioned before, is a big part of why casinos are so popular in India. New technologies such as AI and machine learning are also being used to further personalise the online casino experience, and with Wi-Fi 7 just around the corner, it’s clear that technological advancements will continue to allow the Indian gambling market to blossom in the future. 


These are just a few reasons why online casinos have garnered such popularity in India, and with their success bringing a large amount into the overall economy, it’s likely that other countries – who have not yet set regulations or permitted online casinos at all – will soon follow suit. In the US, for instance, several states are discussing the possibility of legalising online gambling, and with new casinos currently being built in places like Dubai, it’s possible that more middle-eastern countries are preparing to legalise it too. In the meantime, though, India remains a huge player in the iGaming landscape, and it’s only going to get bigger from here.


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