Dinesh Nori foresees a significant future of the iGaming industry in India, given that there has been an increase in the number of internet users and gaming freaks.
Dinesh Nori has spent years in iGaming, and he currently works as a review specialist at CasinoFox.in. The firm has experienced phenomenal growth under the guidance of Erik Johnsson, a Swedish Entrepreneur who incorporated casinofox.in. Since Nori is a British-Indian, living in the United Kingdom, he holds more significant expertise in Indian and UK markets. He has studied both markets closely and presented his valuable insights over many platforms.
“At the time of covid-19 when the forms of entertainment are directly impacted, people quest for various other substitutes or a new form altogether. People have been bored of binge-watching TV series on any of the OTT platforms. Also, with little access to the outside world, the internet is the rescuer. The iGaming industry saw the gap between the outside world and the internet, which led to the increase in user-base,” Dinesh Nori explained.
According to Maple Capital Advisor, gaming startups alone managed to get around $540 million investments in 2020. The craze for cricket and online poker games has been enormous, and one can find every 2 in 5 individuals talking about the games. A surge in the number of players hasn’t happened overnight as various factors contributed to it, such as lockdown, entertainment, and easy access to the internet.
Dinesh Nori emphasized how a lot has changed since he entered the iGaming industry. There were barely any people who knew about the industry, and now even a 16-year-old teenager can tell. “Though that teenager shouldn’t think of playing real money games until he’s under the legalized age bar,” Nori laughed.
Nori explained that the future lies today as India has already become a country where millions of people register and play games online. The exponential growth in the sector has happened for two reasons: the interest of players, and the other is lockdown and the internet itself. However, he said that there’s a hurdle that the industry faces compared to gambling markets in the UK and other countries. The iGaming sites in the UK are regularised, and in return, the income from the sources are more stabilized.
Nori further mentioned how a single gambling entity could solve the unemployment problem of around 20 people. Numerous entities are looking to hire more employees and work in a regulated environment.
Indian gambling laws are in the state of flux where states are given the rights to decide. The law revolves around the ‘game of skills’ and ‘game of chance.’ A game of skills such as Poker is legalized by Indian authorities, while a game of chance isn’t.
Nori’s stance on the laws is a bit peculiar. He believes that a person can’t ascertain between skills and chance because almost all games involve both. The recent ban on Paytm gaming from Google Play Store is an excellent example of the same.
Moreover, the problem is not with the skirmish of ‘skill and chance.’ There are higher issues that the iGaming industry has faced, such as the income tax that the bookmaker and players have to pay. Almost half of the income that a player generates through any gaming app is produced to clear the taxes. The other issue that tenses many entrepreneurs or firms in the industry is gaming license. An Indian site has to get an offshore gaming license such as MGA and UKGC. But, there’s no regulation in terms of availing these licenses from India compared to other countries. Nori stated that the whole process consumes a lot of time which can be eliminated with the Government’s involvement.
Nori also put light on ‘responsible gambling’ and how other countries keep an eye on the problem gamblers. Nori mentioned that currently, an offshore committee looks upon the concept of responsible playing, and Indians are getting deviated from the topic. “If there’s a law in place like there’s for a Punjab lottery ticket or horse racing, the industry along with the Government can benefit a lot. Nobody can stop the industry from growing 10X then,” Nori reiterated.
When Dinesh was asked about the IPL fever and iGaming’s role in it, he explained it with an example, “There are millions of people who try their hands at IPL betting every day, and no other sport could match up to the IPL’s craze in India. Suppose you have a likeable sport in your area or society, and other societies enjoy the revenue streams more than you due to the non-involvement of your area’s authority. How would you feel? This is the current situation. Other bookmakers from EU or UK are benefiting from the IPL fanbase in India, and Indian bookmakers are left behind.”
Dinesh also said that fantasy sports were an unknown name in 2002, and now, everyone knows about it. Not only that, people are crazy about it because it allows a person to watch the match and then play along. The reason why fantasy cricket or football has seen a rise in popularity is simple – the legalization of the game of skills. Fantasy sport comes under the game of skills; perhaps, there are still ongoing discussions about the same, making it a grey area again!
The number of people who watch various sports matches is directly proportional to the number of people playing fantasy sports. Hence, fantasy sports couldn’t match up to the revenue stream of previous years due to IPL’s suspension. However, they might generate more income once the IPL season is back, tentatively in September.
With the current drawbacks like regularisation, Dinesh was asked how he still firmly believes in the future of the iGaming industry, and he replied, “Even though the Government does not control the industry, the revenue streams of Indian bookmakers are reaching skies. Eventually, the Indian Government is expected to bring a revolutionary change in the whole gambling sector. It is being heard that within 2-3 years, the Government might form a commission on par with MGA and other licensing authorities and impose regulations. If this happens, the entire industry will boom at the speed of 20X, and it will save a great amount of income taxes. It will also create a new market for employment for the Indian population. Hence, a win-win situation for everyone.”
As per reports, the iGaming industry is expected to elevate its success ladder at a CAGR of 11.94%. The industry has seen an exponential growth after artificial intelligence and blockchain.