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Could Online Casino challenge bookmakers in India?

Slot Games in India

In India, they say, “Once the game claims you, it never lets you go!” While this quote is about the game of cricket, it could equally mean cricket betting.

We may know India for a lot of things, but nothing stands out more than the country’s love for cricket. The passion and the thrill that follows this game in this country is never witnessed elsewhere in the world. To them, cricket is more than just a game; it’s a religion, a necessity, and in reality, a way of life. It’s this love for cricket that is now also driving the growing popularity of gambling.

But cricket betting isn’t a new thing – it has been here for decades. It has only moved online. Thanks to the advent of smartphones, millions across the world, India included, relish online gambling. With increased internet penetration, millions of Indians can now access cricket betting and online casino games at home or while stuck in a queue or traffic jam. 

Even with the legal ambiguity, the Indian gambling market earns about Rs. 3 lakh crore (USD 60 billion) annually, which no doubt tells you Indians love to gamble.



Why casinos are becoming popular among Indian punters 

There are various reasons why casinos continue to witness significant growth than sports gambling. Some of these reasons include:


  • Legal loophole


There are no laws in India forbidding online gambling. So, most offshore gambling platforms are exploiting this grey area in the legislation to offer customers the chance to wager on sports and play casino games. 


  • Riding on sports betting


Photo by Chris Kendall on Unsplash

Since online casinos include bookmaker services, gamblers don’t need separate accounts for sports betting or casino games – they use the same wallet. It is not rocket science, however, that sports fanatic with a penchant for wagering may also play casino games here and there. Some casino games such as classic and progressive jackpot slots, blackjack, roulette, and baccarat are too thrilling to ignore. These games are fun and addictive; once you step in, you become a religious fan.


  • Casino games have no emotional attachment 


Most Indians sports betting fans have an emotional attachment to the teams they back. We all know emotions hinder our judgment, and such punters tend to make mistakes while placing their bets leading to losses. In casino games, however, these are fun games of chance. All you need is luck. So, cricket fanatics would instead support their teams but gamble on casino games.


  • Punters are well-informed


Critics of casino games have often cited the mathematical advantage of the house over the wagering punters as the critical downside. But equally in sports betting, the odds are against the punters. The point spread in any game levies more odds against the punter. With the numerous markets, you could still lose even if your bet was on the winner but doesn’t win by more points you had given. In casino games, though, the house has an edge but will not often come out on top. Occasionally, if lady luck smiles at you in India slots, you can make hay of gold. But whether sports betting or casino games, many must lose so that a few may win.


  • Exciting New Games and Bonuses


Casinos continuously add more exciting features, new games, and incorporate in-game bonuses that most punters deem attractive. For example, it’s for developers such as NetEnt, Microgaming, or IGT to create slots around movie titles. Such options are difficult to implement in the sports betting segment of the industry. 

Also, there are amazing bonuses on casino games, and with progressive jackpots, you can win a windfall. This option is rarely available in sports betting.


  • Nonstop Action 


For casinos, it’s nonstop action as the games are available all around the clock. For sports punters, there are seasons when there are no matches, and even if there are, they are few not giving punters enough options. For casino gamblers, they can log in any time and roll the wheel of fortune, spin the reel, or take their spot in the table to kill time playing blackjack.


The reality of sports betting is still India’s top online gambling activity. But with the rate at which more Indian sports punters are getting attracted to the fantastic casino games like the flashy slots or the classical roulette wheel, casinos are soon topping the chat. The narrative that sports betting is a skill game no longer holds water. Both cricket betting and playing casino games rely heavily on luck. 


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Geek....Gamer....Curious :) Started his affair with gaming with Super Mario on an 8 Bit console and has been hooked on to gaming ever since. With a commitment to promote gaming as a positive sport and lifestyle in India he started of Gaming Central in 2013 which has since grown as India's most popular social gaming community. Shrey is also a digital marketeer and runs his own agency GC Interactive based in New Delhi which helps brands from strategy to execution, fueling the growth of some of the hottest consumer brands on digital.

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