Online Gaming on the Rise in India’s ‘New Normal’ Daily Routine –

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Mobile and online games have grown steadily in a tough year for everyone. Its social and economic importance to desi consumers and tech companies is increasingly recognized. Yet little is being done in terms of legal regulation and national standards.

A constantly growing industry

Online gambling had already shown its potential in India when affordable smartphones and cheaper internet packages gave everyone the chance to try out a new digital pastime. Casual games and card games were instant hits even before the Covid-19 pandemic.

But when a series of lockdowns forced most of us to stay home – to work, shop and have fun on the internet – the trend became unmistakable. Online games have become an immensely popular type of digital entertainment. The segment picked up speed and was one of the few remaining sectors not suffering from physical distancing and other restrictions.

The gaming user base is estimated at 365 million in mid-2020 per KPMG Media and Entertainment Report, a figure that significantly exceeds previous forecasts for market size and growth. In fact, another of the big four global accounting consultancies, Deloitte India determined at the start of 2021 that the Indian online gaming industry has recently grown by 40% annually and will reach nearly $3 billion by next year.

Mobile games propelled India to second place in the global market rankings, with some data sources indicating a global share of 17% in game downloads. During the lockdown, Both Google Play and Apple’s App Store reported further increases, averaging 50% over periods. Time spent with gaming apps has also increased, Nielsen Investigations confirm. From 151 minutes, Indians now spend an average of 218 minutes playing games every week.

While games of skill offer the greatest growth – along with the excitement and competitive advantage akin to real-life activities or even sports – the macro-segment distinction is neither clear nor legally binding. exact as is.

Regulators need to step up their game

The fact is that if a online casino in india were to reveal its actual growth over the past two years, we will see similar numbers and trends. The Real Money Gaming (RMG) segment has grown steadily, beyond most media and entertainment segments, websites like 10Cric offers a wide selection of casino games.

However, while some traditional genres like rummy or poker are considered games of skill and might be formally permitted, others like teen patti (or “Indian poker” as outsiders know it) would escape any practice or legal recognition. The same goes for timeless classics such as ludo, carom or even chess. If played in free formats, they could be perfectly legitimate, while paid game apps could be strictly prohibited in some states.

In the end, the online RMG sector has been developing “in the dark” for several years. The absence of clear market regulations and legal definitions – mainly at the central level – does not prevent it from becoming a social phenomenon. But this prevents the industry from capitalizing on a growing trend and offers opportunities for Bharat tech companies to attract more (foreign) investment, which is crucial for the innovation potential and competitive edge of the sector, experts say. .

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