The UK has always been one of the biggest markets for gambling companies. It’s a country that gambles a lot and 2017 to 2018 data shows that its worth was able to reach up to 14.5 billion British pounds. However, the gambling market size in the UK seems to have declined in 2019 and this was because of multiple reasons.
One of the most probable cause is Brexit. This made one of the world’s largest regulated gambling markets no longer look as appealing as it was back then. Gambling companies then start to look at other countries with great potential like India.
What is in India?
It’s easy to digest why many gambling operators are now targeting countries like India. It’s a country with a big population with a growing number of internet users. It has over 1.360 billion people with nearly 700 million of them as internet users.
The number of internet users here is projected to grow to over 974 million by 2025 which will only make India one of the biggest online markets in the Asian country. Now, in particular, the Indians appear to be more into mobile technology as over 420 million internet users are mainly using mobile devices.
With that, mobile gaming and gambling are becoming more and more popular. There is now a big market for Android and iOS casino app in India despite how local online gambling is still illegal in the country.
Even if this is the case, Indians can still place their bets online as long as the casino or bookie is based offshore and is offering Indian Rupee as a mode of payment. As of last year, however, the states of Telangana and Andhra Pradesh banned all forms of online gambling.
Aside from more relaxed restrictions, India is also a good candidate because of its history with gambling. The Indians love to gamble almost as much as how they love cricket. The love that they have for cricket alone is already a great opportunity for many bookmakers. Aside from this, Indians also enjoy traditional card games including Teen Patti and Indian Rummy.
We can already see how gambling companies see this country’s potential as many of them are now accepting Indian Rupees. Even though online gambling is still in its infancy in India, gambling operators are already flocking the market.
It’s not impossible that India will eventually regulate online gambling but it may happen a long time from today. Regulating this activity still takes a lot of discussion because people there are still divided on how they see gambling in general.
Some people aren’t after regulating it as they are saying that it could only cause gambling problems and corruption in the country. Meanwhile, there are also the ones who are willing to regulate this activity because it can be economically good for India.
Overall, there will be a long discussion about this and for now, gambling operators can only really take advantage of the infant market.
What’s Happening to the UK Gambling Industry
Recent gambling commission figures have shown that the UK gambling market fell from 5.6 billion British pounds to 5.3 billion in March 2019. The struggle came worse when the UK has banned the use of credit card payments in any form of gambling last year. Add to that the stricter regulations including the stringent age verification process that gambling operators should abide by.
However, gambling operators still found a bit of hope last year that it won’t be all bad moving forward for them. The pandemic has somehow boosted gambling activities and many online casino sites reported a spike in their traffic.
The UK Gambling Commission saw this increase in real event betting between May and June 2020. With this, authorities were still after protecting the players and warned the operators to look out for online sessions that would last over an hour. This then dampened the supposed boost that the pandemic can give to the industry.
Overall, the market trends in the UK are already becoming a bit unstable that many companies are now looking for growth outside this market. Bet365, for example, has already focused on some countries in Asia. Ladbrokes Coral is also already expanding in Brazil. It’s simply obvious that these companies are also trying to secure their future by no longer heavily relying on the UK market which was the biggest gambling market for a long time.