Casino gambling by the growing middle class of Indian nationals has the potential to generate nearly US$10.2bn annually by the year 2025 provided there is the right product close to home, says a new report from Global Market Advisors.
Last year a businessman operating casinos in the Indian state of Goa estimated that domestically generated casino revenue could currently be as little as US$75.7m annually.
That latter figure does not reflect the actual appetite for such gambling, were it offered in high-quality venues a convenient distance from the homes of middle class Indians, said the paper prepared by Kit Szybala, GMA’s director of research and analysis. GMA is a consulting firm serving the casino gaming, hospitality and airline industries “It is important to note that our gaming revenue estimate would be generated by 20.3 million middle/upper class adults, which accounts for only 1.4 per cent of India’s projected total population in 2025,” said the report.
India joined the list of Macau’s top 10 visitor source markets in 2015, noted the document. Casino operators, however, remain “transfixed” by the potential of serving Chinese gamblers – via investments either in Macau or in jurisdictions neighboring mainland China – and have largely overlooked India, notes the report.
“So far, few gaming operators have considered China’s democratic and capitalistic neighbor, India, as a potential source of demand,” said the paper. “The existing gaming markets in and near India generally offer an unattractive gaming product that could be easily and vastly improved.
“Other gaming destinations fail to adequately market or cater to the Indian gamer.
Even so, Indians continue to demonstrate a proclivity for gambling, as many Indians frequent legal casinos domestically and seek out gaming opportunities abroad.
“India shares many of the same characteristics that make China such an attractive source of gaming demand.
India also has a large, prosperous economy, an enormous population and favorable consumer/gaming habits.”