The industry of online, real money, skill-based gaming in India is presently worth about Rs 2,000 crore (~$281.5 million), revealed Roland Landers, chief executive officer of the All India Gaming Federation (AIGF). The industry has cashed in on the steady growth of gaming as an industry in the country, and according to Landers, gross gaming revenue for online gaming portals in India has grown at a steady pace of about 30-35 percent, and is seemingly set to grow at a similar pace going forward. The scope of online real-money skill games include arcade games such as 8-ball pool, as well as fantasy sports platforms such as Dream11 and Mobile Premier League. It is this industry that AIGF aims to regulate, in order to establish uniform rules and guidelines for all players as well as operators (i.e the gaming platforms) to follow. As Landers said, “We work to protect online gamers, and that can only happen when proper procedure is brought by operators. Alongside recognition, we aim to create direct and indirect jobs, and in turn, generate revenue through gaming. We also conduct audits to ensure that online operators have proper rules and dispute resolution mechanisms, so as to address any issue of player grievances that may come up.” The growth pace projected by Landers suggests that within about five years, the industry of online gaming involving real money is set to expand by 3.5x, maintaining the 35 percent CAGR (compound annual growth rate) at which it is said to have grown over the past two years. Among multiple factors, Landers stated that the easy availability of decent hardware, along with cheap data, are the most obvious growth factors that are leading individuals on towards investing in gaming. Speaking to News18, Landers projected a growth pace for this section of the gaming industry in India, stating, “Smartphone gaming has been one of the biggest contributors for the industry of online, real money, skill-based gaming. By 2025, the GGR (gross gaming revenue) would easily hit $1 billion (~Rs 7,100 crore) for this industry. Moreover, the pool of active monthly gamers in the online circuit are to the tune of about 25 million individuals. However, only about 10 percent of this pool are gamers who actively pay and invest.”
With increased awareness towards the gaming industry, tournaments and big ticket names entering India gradually, it will be interesting to see if the industry of online real money skill games manages to keep pace with its projections, or even outpace the present growth rate to expand even faster.