In recent years, there has been a steady upward growth in the online betting industry in India, with a lot more internet users now choosing to play online sports betting odds, fantasy sports, and even casino games online. In fact, with some favorable legislation made in a few Indian states, the use of rummy and poker apps has increased manifold, given the popularity of those games in the country.
This boost in the real-money gaming sector, as well as the online betting market, has partly been the result of more readily available resources on all levels of Indian society. When a decade ago, smartphones were the products of the affluent and the rich, today, smartphones and cheap data packs are available to every Indian, from every background.
This has brought a huge new section of the population to the forefront of the betting market. Now, there are many more people who not only have access to smartphones and the internet but also a bit of disposable income, with which they can play online games.
However, the growing popularity of the online betting industry cannot be simply attributed to the increased availability of smartphones and data packs. India’s rapidly digitized payment infrastructure has had a huge role to play in the success of real-money gaming and online gambling.
An economy that had mostly relied on cash and cash on delivery for even online orders is now trusting enough to spend digital money on online gaming apps. That leap was mostly because of the movement in India that promoted the use of digital payment methods, beginning with the demonetization and motivated further with the Covid-19 pandemic.
With the introduction of several payment wallets as well as the revolutionary payment interface by the NPCI, known as United Payments Interface or UPI, most Indians began to make the shift to online payments. With such a heavy reliance on digital payment systems, it was not long before many of these people also began to trust online payments enough to start playing online games.
UPI has made it much easier for the general public to both deposit as well as withdrawing money from gaming apps and betting sites. In fact, Indian betting sites that accept UPI are usually much more popular amongst Indian users than betting sites that only accept international wallets or only credit and debit cards.
Even within UPI, the apps like PhonePe, Google Pay, BHIM, and Paytm are more widely accepted amongst online gaming websites and apps. Since UPI allows payments to be made directly from the user’s bank account and to also receive money directly in the user’s account using the Virtual Payment Address or UPI ID, it is the ideal payment option for online betting. Since the industry is still largely unregulated, there is a danger of fraudulent transactions. However, the use of UPI keeps the user’s confidential information safe, thanks to the use of the UPI ID and not the bank account details.
There is no denying that the UPI infrastructure has made online betting much easier for users. And India is set to see even further growth in the online gaming market in the next few years.