Games have always been a part of every culture, and one of the most well-loved forms of recreation. So, it comes as no surprise that the gaming industry is synonymous with immense market growth, emergence of new players, mind boggling innovations, and predictions of how high the market is set to rise. The emergence and drastic growth of India’s Real Money Gaming sector (as the name indicates, real money gaming refers to the actual money that is wagered, won, and lost in virtual games) seems inevitable, but what’s interesting is that within this segment, card games in particular are coming out as a clear winner. Read on for more exciting trends that are creating waves in the countries online real money gaming arena…
1. Real Money Gaming is growing significantly, within which casual card games in particular are reigning supreme!
The emergence and drastic growth of India’s Real Money Gaming sector (as the name indicates, real money gaming refers to the actual money that is wagered, won, and lost in virtual games) seems inevitable, but what’s interesting is that within this segment, casual games in particular are coming out as a clear winner. Slated to be the fastest-growing segment, casual games are generally single-game platforms that demand less rigor. They can be played at leisure, such as when one is waiting for a ride, in between work breaks, or when not a lot of time needs to be invested. Short form gaming or casual games are gaining popularity as more people realized it’s a great way to
make good their time…and possibly earn money while at it.
2. India’s growing access to the internet is a major growth driver. The COVID-19 pandemic too fanned the flames of an already existing trend, furthering digital adoption and virtual entertainment
India’s internet-connected population reached 51% in 2021 and is predicted to increase dramatically. Almost 42% of residents in Tier 2+ cities are online. In the last five years, the reduction in data tariff and the wider availability of wireless data services has pushed up the average monthly data traffic per user to 17GB with a CAGR of 31%. The number of smartphone users is already over 44 % (in CY21), and as smartphone prices decrease, this figure will only rise. With further democratization of the internet and smartphone technologies, Tier-2 cities too are expected to enter the gaming community, making India one of the most profitable RMG markets. The rise in RMG was notably the steepest in the wake of the first lockdown and during the first half of the second wave, after which there was a sharp decline. As the lockdown gradually lifted, the market for online gaming continued to grow slowly but steadily. It is likely to retain a steady growth path in the near future, as conditions return to normalcy.
3.Interestingly, within the RMG market, casual card games are growing at the fastest pace, with age old favourites like rummy and poker being an all-time favourite
Rummy is a very popular traditional card game in India. Online real money gaming rummy platforms provide traditional players an opportunity to play the game anywhere with real money. Poker on the other hand is a very niche game. However, online real money gaming poker platforms provide the experienced as well as new players one common avenue to play. The leading card game type has 57% of the share in the overall market followed by fantasy sports. Both leading card games notably are games of skill rather than chance. The Indian festival season, in particular, sees a sharp increase in card games–probably the effect of families spending more time together.
4. Owing to this rise and the demand for casual card games, players are shifting to mutli-game platforms to keep up!
As the demand for short-form casual games continues to increase, leading players in the card games and fantasy markets are quickly launching multi-game platforms to capitalize on the rapidly growing casual games market. Essentially, multi-game platforms house a collection of a variety of interesting games that come under a single app, as opposed to single-game platforms that come with only one game.
5. As a result, the overall market is expected to grow 3X by CY26, reaching a whopping USD 5 Bn!
The ubiquitous nature of the internet, coupled with the sharp decline in smartphone prices, has led to a spurt in all things digital, including online gaming. The gaming business in India has developed dramatically over the past few years, with over 450 million active gamers and streamers, and more entering the fray on a daily basis. Within the sector, Real Money Gaming (RMG) is one of the fastest-growing segments. The market is expected to grow at a CAGR of 25% to reach USD 5 billion in 2026, a whopping 3X growth from the USD 1.6 billion it garnered in 2021.
As the online gaming ecosystem continues to thrive, there is an increasing conversation regarding the need for regulations–something that new entrants in the market should consider. All in all, RMG sure is an interesting space to watch, and not just for gamers, but for investors too.