sports gambling revenue is estimated to reach $1.6 billion by 2023, while new research from global research agency 2CV and ProdegeMR shows a growth spurt during the global pandemic. In the second wave of research first conducted in the UK at the beginning of the pandemic in April, the latest figures from Indian gamblers show a growing interest in esports betting, with the spread of COVID-19 playing a significant role accelerating this growth.
2CV and ProdegeMR conducted a survey of 756 gamblers aged 18-54, exploring their gambling behaviour and experiences with esports, and how COVID-19 has affected both. The survey found that although gambling is illegal or strictly regulated across states in India, a majority of Indian adults' gamble in some form every year. With 59% of gamblers typically betting on sports, the pandemic has had a "dramatic impact" on how and where betting can take place. 44% of gamblers have reduced their gambling spend as a result of the pandemic, with 84% agreeing that they have actively looked for new things to bet on and 69% having already shifted spend on other forms of gambling.
Some of this shift has resulted in an increase in esports gambling, with 9% having made a bet on esports in the last 3 months - 62% of whom only started betting on esports since the pandemic began. A further 31% of bettors are actively considering betting on esports during the next 3 months.
Despite these positive developments, the murky regulations, lack of awareness and lack of access are some of the biggest barriers to the adoption of esports gambling in India. Over 85% of non-esports gamblers stated that they needed more information before they could start betting, while 81% of gamblers considering betting on esports would do so if there were more sports games to bet on.
James Redden, Managing Director at 2CV Singapore, said in a press release: "With a large pool of mobile gamers (estimated to be 250 million), the potential for esports growth is enormous. A potential betting play could accelerate this growth even further."
All figures are from 2CV and ProdegeMR's research titled 'Esports Gambling: An unlikely alliance to unlock the Indian opportunity'. The research surveyed 756 gamblers aged 18-54, it was conducted between 3-9th September 2020 online with those who have gambled via any means in the last three months.