Online vs land-based casino gaming – which is better for players, and which is the most popular? Here is a look at the size and success of this growing industry in India and the different types of gaming experiences available to casino game fans in the country.
Popularity of casino games in India
Casino gaming is a high revenue, high growth industry in India, it is currently worth an estimated $32 million US dollars. However, with an annual growth rate of almost 7.6 percent, this industry’s revenue could reach as high as $49 million US dollars by the year 2027.
While in-person casino gaming is popular in some parts of the country, online casinos are becoming significantly more popular due to the choice of casino providers available and the convenience that they offer. Out of all the typical casino games, online slot games are the most popular.
Mobile casino gaming apps are downloaded by a huge number of people thanks to the growing availability of smartphones. Some apps provide real money casino gaming, while others are just for fun and use virtual currency with no real-world value.
Laws for offline and online casino gaming
There is an old law (known as the Public Gambling Act of 1867) still technically in place in the country, which prohibits all forms of gambling with the exception of lotteries and games of skill. Although the definition of skill-based games is a hotly debated topic.
The penalty for those operating casinos was set at 200 rupees and three months in prison, for visitors to these establishments’ fines were set at 100 rupees and up to one month in prison.
However, there are now three states in the country that do permit casinos – Goa, Daman and the state of Sikkim. In Sikkim there are two main casinos while in Goa there are six land-based venues and four that float along the MandoviRiver on boats. There is also a land-based casino venue in Daman.
But what about online casino gaming? Well, the Information Technology Act 2000 fails to make any reference to games that involve wagering money. There are few states in the country that have any explicit laws that prohibit online casino gaming and betting.
There are now calls for the legalisation and regulation of the casino industry and efforts are currently underway to make that happen. For example, in early 2023 the government of India released a draft document outlining plans for self-regulation for casino gaming operators.
Online casinos vs offline casinos – what are the differences,and which is better?
All the top casino games such as poker, blackjack and slots can be played either online or in-person. There are a wide range of factors that influences a player decision on how they play these games, but ultimately the decision comes down to availability and personal preference.
One of the biggest drivers behind the growth of the online casino gaming industry is the convenience that gaming from a phone, tablet or computer offers. Rather than going out to visit a specific venue, players can quickly log on to casino sites from the comfort of their own homes.
As more people seek entertainment that they can enjoy at home, this is a trend we will see continue in the years ahead.
Another reason in favour of online gaming is the variety of games on offer. Online, you can access offshore casino sites and explore their libraries of hundreds, even thousands, of games. At in-person casinos, the venue is limited by the amount of space they have to physically place casino game machines and gaming tables.
Nevertheless, in-person casino gaming is an experience and brings with it a sense of occasion or celebration for many. It offers in-person social interaction that players at home cannot experience.
Casino venues often have grand architecture and decor, giving the feeling of opulence and luxury. This is one reason casinos are ideal for birthday, wedding and anniversary celebrations or for entertaining visitors.
Cost is also a factor, the minimum bet sizes tend to be much lower online, which makes it more appealing for new players learning how to play the games. Land based casinos have bigger overheads. However, for high-stakes poker players playing at a venue is usually preferred and avoids having to make large online transactions.
Both online and offline casinos have their pros and cons, and many casino game fans will try out both options.