Real-Money Gaming Trends in Modern India

Real-Money Gaming Trends in Modern India

gambling habits is the only way to deliver quality service to desi players. Luckily, with time, online gambling sites see a growing convergence of tastes and gaming demand, an industry study shows.

Classic casino games, typical for Western-style casino floors, are getting just as popular among desi fans as traditional Indian games. Online Roulette and Slots have more fans than the rest but Asian games are also in demand, especially with a live dealer.

Overall, desi players seek more dynamic and original content, linking casual gameplay to real-money thrills, the report reveals.

Foreign Games (in Simplified Versions) Growing on Desi Players

The first thing researchers noticed is that desi players tend to enjoy more foreign-born games than expected. However, many of the top game titles have simplified versions of casino classics like roulette, slots or blackjack.

Easier gameplay also means a quicker draw or a spin, even instant results. A quick example – online Blackjack, Baccarat and Texas Hold’em pull the most players among the card segment (9% in operator turnover and 11.6% of the total player count). However, among the top 30 the highest rated is Speed Baccarat.

Roulette and online Slots rate even better. The research was based on primary aggregate data provided by PureWin online casino. It includes anonymous statistics of over 170 thousand registered players covering most of 2021.

The revealed adoption rates and game preferences are largely confirmed by Google Trends and other industry statistics. Market shares and player activity crown online slots and roulette as the top fan picks across the Union.

Roulette Emerges as Clear Favorite

Online roulette tops most charts – both as a single title and a group of games. In the top 30 casino games by turnover, it generates a whopping 70.1%, business intelligence figures reveal. Lightning Roulette leads the list, proving an immense success with almost a quarter of the turnover in the top 30.

Quite importantly, most games in the leading pack are played with a live dealer, with the exception of slots. The majority of fan favorites are quick-play versions, especially in the roulette category. Features classified as “lightning”, “speed”, “instant” or “auto” draw the most crowds and online bets.

This is also true of innovative game titles like “Dream Catcher” and “Crazy Time” (both similar to live roulette or Wheel of Fortune). They have a live dealer, offer dynamic visual content and engross the player as an active participant. In the end, these offer a more exciting take on the live roulette genre.

Leading games sorted by player count. Source:

Casino experts remind that the success of these games is not a coincidence. Online casino turnover is mostly directed to games with high returns to player (RTP), something roulette and slots are famous for.

This brings us to look at online slots, the other emerging fan favorite. Out of 28 thousand registered players (opting for the top 30 games), slots account for 29% of game sessions. They are even more relevant in the top 100 by player count, with over 35.7%.

While roulette maintains the top spot, it practically levels with slots in terms of player count among the top 100 (35.8%). These figures point to the expanding player base for both genres, offering fresh visual content and, above all, dynamic gameplay.

Slots are also cited as a prime example of a booming niche which sees the most game titles produced every year. Purewin alone, which supplied the big-data, reported active player sessions in over 2300 slot titles (out of 2640 total casino games). The astounding amount of game supply corresponds to high player interest and growing market competitiveness.

Traditional Asian Games Hold Their Ground

The above findings are somewhat new for the online casino market in India, even if not completely unexpected. However, the study also stresses the importance of Indian traditions in real-money gaming.

Based on the available primary data, desi games like Teen Patti and Andar Bahar (and Asian titles as a whole) generate 13.5% of the turnover among the top 30. Local classics attract around 10% of the player count, holding a similar share against the top 100 most popular games.

Andar Bahar is ranked 4th overall by number of players and first among Indian table games. It also attracts a large number of high-rollers, players who raise total turnovers and gaming sessions’ length considerably.

Teen Patti is also a game that comes high among player preferences. That is also not a surprise, since it regularly dominates mobile app rankings.

Other online casino favorites that the study highlights include Chinese-origin games like Sic Bo, Dragon Tiger and Fan-Tan, as well as Indian classics like Jhandi Munda and Ludo.

Publicly available Google data on search volumes and app downloads confirm the stable interest and consistent player volumes that Asian games tend to generate. The cultural heritage and gaming habits of many Indian families justify such visibility.

The legitimacy of skill-based gaming makes them also openly available through both full-scale online casinos and dedicated mobile apps. AppBrain reveals Google Play App Rankings which always feature domestic favorites among the top.

Teen Patti almost always occupies the leading 3 positions (and usually 4 out of the top 5). Many apps have integrated Poker, Rummy or other desi games in them. The most downloaded real-money games, however, already see four Slot apps in the top 10, as well as more than half of the top 20 dedicated to the same game type. Poker and Roulette follow not far behind.

This brings experts to the conclusion that Western-style casino games are closing the gap in national popularity from traditional game genres like Teen Patti or Poker. Slots even had a huge spike in interest in 2021, surpassing most other casino products in India for a month.

Selected casino games by online popularity in India. Source: Google Trends

The gradual adoption of foreign casino games has raised the bar for offshore operators, making them compete through quality and customer support. Decent online traction and well-distributed player interest for various product categories leads the Indian casino scene towards better overall performance, analysts conclude.

State Differences Outline Tastes and Gambling Communities

Previous studies have highlighted the importance of social and economic development for India’s biggest gambling states and cities. We see a similar pattern in this study as well, with many of the regions within the Union standing out in a particular game category.

In the top 30 by player count, for example, Delhi has the most unique gamers going for slots, while Karnataka players choose the roulette and traditional desi games. Telangana and Andhra Pradesh stand out among sportsbook bettors. Experts seek the rationale for this in these States’ insistence on outlawing sports betting – the historical background and gaming preference of the locals, however, prevail and burst into online betting channels.

Rajasthan spikes in baccarat gaming activity in late 2021, figures show. Telangana rates high in Lightning and Instant Roulette sessions. Maharashtra residents also go for various roulette versions above all.

In terms of monthly turnover volumes, Andhra Pradesh is more active than any other territory, largely due to roulette sessions. AP occupies 4 of the top 6 spots (in month-by-turnover volumes) and 9 of the top 18.

The table below shows the favorite games by State, according to player numbers and turnovers for a particular game.

Delhi and Mumbai Getting Fond of Online Slots

The “Table Games” category includes mostly card games and Asian classics that we listed above. Along with online roulette, these are clearly among the leading real-money games for India’s online casino players today.

The growth rate of the other emerging game category – online slots – is attributed to the importance of states like Mumbai and Delhi, among others, as those register the biggest slot player communities across the nation.

Games that have the biggest turnover per player are indicated above as regional favorites throughout 2021. Metropolitan areas boost the placement of some states, particularly relevant in the case of Delhi and Mumbai as slot-player bases. Telangana confirms the locals’ passion for roulette, while Karnataka sticks with traditional desi table games.

Once again, we are reminded that these games are most often the leaders in Western online casinos. Such product convergence evokes references to market maturity, experts clarify, as Indian casino players continue shaping one of the most exciting global gaming markets.

Author: Deann Hawkins