To stay ahead of curve, India needs to seize opportunities brought by gaming industry

The time is ripe for India to shed its outdated inhibitions and fully embrace the much-needed transformation that digital technology is bringing to the so-called “new India.”

Mobile gaming reaches new heights amid pandemic

Spending a lot of time online has been considered a taboo in many households, but the Covid-19 pandemic happened and now people are opting to use digital platforms from the safety of their homes. With the advent of digital technology, there’s virtually a digital environment for all types of activities—be it for work and study, for business and shopping, and especially for entertainment and recreation, even for keeping in touch with family and friends.

The pandemic has changed the landscape of the gaming industry in India, with players experiencing the excitement of live gaming on legitimate and reputable online casino India platforms via desktops or mobile devices. Now, India is considered one of the leaders in the global market with nearly 45 percent of the mobile users in the country playing games on their smartphones during the pandemic, according to a recent InMobi survey.

Separate research by ENV Media focusing on mobile devices described the pandemic as a factor that pushed most digital trends, in that, “Nowadays, the former family primetime hours are often dedicated to gaming, and this kind of fragmented, customizable, and largely free gaming experience is the new preferred pastime for many Indians.”

India has an estimated 760 million internet users, with more than half of these users playing online games via mobile phones—making India the second largest mobile gaming market. “Over the course of a difficult year for humanity, many consumers found solace and entertainment outlets in mobile games, spending more than an hour with them, on average,” according to the ENV Media analysts.

Gaming industry an important pillar of India’s economy

This makes the gaming industry an important pillar of India’s economy, and it’s one that should be fully utilized for the benefit of the entire country. The recent Karnataka High Court ruling, which reversed the blanket ban that the state government imposed in 2021, is a major step forward for the country’s $930 million gaming industry.

Roland Landers, Chief Executive of All India Gaming Federation (AIGF), was quoted by the Economic Times saying, “We look forward to working with the government and stakeholders to develop a clear regulatory framework—that will enable legitimate gaming companies to operate in the state with safeguards, while eradicating illegal gambling apps from the state.”

A clear regulatory framework with a modern outlook towards the ever-changing online gaming industry is just what the country needs. Policymakers have already seen the potential of this thriving industry, which can potentially create lakhs of jobs as gaming startups—there are more than 400 gaming startups in India—start to firm up their hiring in anticipation of the sector’s growth in the next few years.

India has already experienced a 35 percent increase in the number of real money games played on a monthly basis by an average user during the pandemic, according to data from another ENV Media report. In comparison, Russia has seen a 30 percent increase, while Indonesia has 26 percent, Brazil has 23 percent, the United States has 13 percent, and the United Kingdom has 11 percent. Rounding up the list are Japan, China and France with 7 percent each, Canada and Germany with 6 percent each, and South Korea with 5 percent.

Put simply, now is the perfect time for the government and relevant lawmakers to shed inhibitions when it comes to gaming and seize the opportunities this sunrise industry brings to stay ahead of the curve.