The changing landscape of skill gaming in India: An in depth overview

The growth and popularity of the gaming industry in India has been exponentially rising given its immense flexibility, variety and easy accessibility. That being said, The attitude of gaming in India has drastically changed over time. The laws have supported the games of skills and made it legal and on the other hand, prohibited the games of chance.

The internet popularly known as the World Wide Web (WWW) has been revolutionary with respect to gaming over the years. It has indeed opened new doors wherein players can explore various dimensions in gaming seamlessly without any hassles with just a click of a button.

Well, with this we can say that the gaming industry in India is no doubt booming. Nevertheless, let us delve more deeper to find out what is the current status of skill gaming in India and what its future looks like given its ever-changing and challenging landscape. Continue to read on!

Regulatory insights to gaming in india

With respect to gaming in India, there has been a differential treatment with the games of skill and chance. Section 12 of the Public Gambling Act exempts all games of skill from penal provisions. It states, “Nothing in the foregoing provisions of this act contained shall be held to apply to any game of mere skill whenever played.”

Further, there have been numerous legal precedents to argue about the games that are to be considered as skill-based and chance-based. For instance, with Andhra Pradesh, the Supreme Court revealed that the thirteen card game of Rummy is not a game completely by chance. It is mainly a game of skill and not chance. Also, in the state of Tamilnadu, the Supreme Court revealed that Horse racing is a sport that is learnt by acquiring adequate training. It is the speed and stamina of the horse that plays a crucial role. Therefore, horse racing cannot be included within the definition of skill gaming.

When it comes to gaming in India, it definitely has a recreational appeal. The gaming industry has witnessed a drastic shift due to the evolution of television, different online gaming models and not to forget the internet. However, concerning legality, the Indian gaming laws are quite stringent.

In simple words, gambling according to a majority of legislations is defined as “the act of wagering or bettin” on the games of chance and does not include the following:

  • Games of skill
  • Games of mere chance (Casinos/regulated gambling)
  • Lotteries (Covered under lottery laws)

What is skill gaming?: Its growth and influence in India

A “game of skill” is one where success majorly depends upon superior knowledge, training, attention, experience, adroitness, personal attributes and capabilities of the player. It is the element of skill that a player possesses determines the outcome of the game.

Some of the most popular online skill games in India include Rummy, Racing and Fantasy Sports.

Highlights of skill gaming in India
A majority of the operators in the skill gaming industry are corporate entities registered in India as a private limited company.
In the past years, there has been a rapid increase in the revenue of the operators with respect to skill gaming in India.
With the increase in revenue, there have also been new entrants into the industry.
The use of Internet, smartphones and increase in income levels of the consumers have contributed greatly in the growth of the gaming industry.
The growth of the industry has further led to numerous employment opportunities.


The growth of the Indian gaming industry over the years has been quite impressive so to mention. The calculated CAGR for the last three years for card-based games has been 67.58% generating a total revenue of 730 crores. On the other hand, fantasy sports has grown by 199.69% generating a total revenue of 67 crores. On this note, there are many established online casino brands like MonsterCasino in the UK that are trying to make their entry to India.

Apart from this, the online casino games in India are quite extensive with popular card games like Teen Patti, Rummy, Poker and Jhandi Munda being best-loved and preferred by a majority of the Indian gamers. The growth and popularity of Teen Patti has been simply great. There has been a 50 to 100% growth rate for games like Teen Patti, Rummy and Poker. The online card games in India are estimated to grow rapidly in terms of revenue and touch Rs 1180 crores by 2023 as per Financial Express.

What makes skill gaming popular in India?

Well, there are varied reasons as to why players consider or enjoy playing games of skill rather than games of chance. Below are a few important reasons. Take a look!

Good entertainment: One of the significant reasons as to why players resort to online gaming is for entertainment purposes and skill-based games offer immense thrill and excitement.

Interaction: Online gaming promotes social interaction for those who are interested in making friends and staying connected to like-minded individuals.

Sense of relief: By playing skill-based games, players find solace or a sense of relief if they have had a tiring or a stressful day. Online skill games help in reducing the stress levels after a hectic day.

Dominance: The thrill of winning in a game of skill is indeed a remarkable feeling.

The future of skill gaming: How does it look like?

The future of skill gaming in India looks all bright. There are a gamut of challenges to be identified and met. However, considering the present status of how skill gaming has been over the past years, the operators have to focus on maintaining a high-standard of governance and self-regulation.

The growth and popularity of skill gaming in India is undoubtedly increasing owing to technology, innovation and changing trends and patterns. The current gaming landscape would require setting up policies and procedures like self-regulation thus promising high standards of corporate governance, integrity and utmost transparency. These initiatives would not only reduce the cases of problem gamers but will also improve consumer protection resulting in the development of the industry that contributes to the welfare of the nation through employment and taxation.

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