Online Gambling Adoption Directly Linked to Socio-Economic Development
“The larger and more developed an Indian metropolis is, the more visible and influential it is in the online gambling scene,” as concluded in Svilen Madjov’s research on “Biggest Online Gambling States in India”. The recently published primary study by SevenJackpots’ industry researcher Madjov reveals a direct correlation between online gambling adoption and socio-economic development.
“The Top 6 urban centers – Mumbai, Delhi, Kolkata, Chennai, Bangalore, and Hyderabad – are well above the rest, but others are starting to catch up. Ahmedabad and Surat, to name a couple, help Gujarat gain some industry exposure (for a total of 6% in our case); the leading six ensure the most online gambling traction and represent almost two-thirds of all active online casino customers evaluated through our proprietary resources,” Mr. Madjov writes.
The analysis of geographically distributed internal data from SevenJackpots Google Analytics on six-months worth of organic traffic shows that India’s six most prominent metro areas, together with the states they are a part of, collectively generate as much as 62.1 percent of desi online casino gaming activity.
The chart leader among the “Biggest Online Gambling States in India” is Maharashtra which, combined with Mumbai, accounts for 17.4 percent of the registered casino traction during the analyzed period. Telangana with Hyderabad comes in second position with 9.9 percent of the organic traffic.
West Bengal with Kolkata and Karnataka with Bangalore are placed third and fourth respectively, with each of the two states scoring 9.3 percent of all casino players. The sixth and seventh positions are taken by Tamil Nadu with Chennai and the National Capital Territory of Delhi, each scoring 8.1 percent of the registered online casino traffic.
Notably, the state of Uttar Pradesh with its population of 237.8 million (according to 2019 data) takes the fifth place with a score of 8.2 percent, generating nearly the same traffic as NCT Delhi with its almost thirteen times lesser population of 18.7 million or Tamil Nadu with its three times smaller population of 77.8 million.
Industry researcher Madjov explains this discrepancy with the levels of socio-economic development of the different states and the presence of a large middle class with enough disposable income in certain geographies.
“The richest Indian cities stand out in online gambling because of their middle class, which is reported as nearly 350 million. This influential user group can afford to consume online entertainment and game more and more often than others in the Union,” he writes.
Looking at Net State Domestic Product per Capita, we see that Goa, Sikkim, Delhi, Haryana, Karnataka, Telangana, Kerala, Uttarakhand, Gujarat, Tamil Nadu, and Maharashtra are the states which produce more than ₹200,000 for each of their citizens per year.
The Sustainable Development Goals (SDG) Index for 2020-2021, released by government think tank NITI Aayog, measures state and UT progress along 17 goals, 70 targets, and 115 indicators for a comprehensive assessments of socio-economic development including aspects such as life expectancy, education, income levels, good health and well being, poverty and hunger, among others.
“Kerala tops the state list, followed by Himachal Pradesh and Tamil Nadu. The Union Territories of Chandigarh and Delhi are also well above the rest. Among other states, Andhra Pradesh, Goa, Karnataka, Sikkim, Maharashtra, and Telangana perform better than the Indian average. Consequently, the larger ones also report a good online gambling presence,” Mr. Madjov observes in his publication.
There are a number of other factors that influence online gaming and casino playing activity and contribute to the growth of the sector. “Player preference and gambling culture cannot be altered overnight, but quick technological evolution and generational dynamics do their part,” as Svilen Madjov points out.
Such growth-influencing factors include the spreading of internet access across all urban and rural parts of India, the rising smartphone penetration, the development of affordable new technologies and the rise of digital payments adoption and trust.
These factors are combined with the country’s young demographic base and backed up by the growing ecosystem of local developers which leads to the appearance of more and more localized games on the market.
“Ultimately, the aggregate effect of these factors has a considerable influence on Indian consumption trends. Players’ inherent gambling tastes and traditional convictions always add up and – together with the efficiency and accessibility of online entertainment and media – help shape contemporary consumption means,” industry researcher Madjov writes.
“This translates into a healthy online casino market with higher player expectations and demands. The young and tech-hungry Indian players, more than others, lead the way by defining the updated player profile. They drive consumption volumes in big cities and even smaller rural communities,” he concludes.