Understanding the younger generation and their impact on online betting in India is crucial for the sector's growth in the country.
What steps can the gaming industry take to ensure they cultivate such a large portion of the consumer share? How do companies implement responsible and measured marketing strategies for younger customers? What's the next phase for embracing new-age tech in the gambling sphere?
According to a recent study by newzoo, around half a billion people watch gaming streams, further highlighting the insatiable demand for immersive gaming content. Many operators in regulated markets recognise the potential for combining streaming content with advertising - it's a lucrative business for both the streamer and the betting site. Indeed, you only have to look at the most popular Twitch streamers to see the appetite for consuming betting content. Slot streamers regularly rank within the top 10 most popular Twitch gaming streams (by viewer hours).
The streaming profession and competitive eSports players enjoy a symbiotic relationship. The most recent Statista report shows how profitable eSports can be - the likes of Dota 2, Counter-Strike: Global Offensive and Arena Of Valor are examples of the types of games that streamers compete for millions of dollars in prize pools. Meanwhile, streaming the aforementioned competitions also provide huge value to the individual.
Combining the thirst for streaming content and maximising the offering of eSports is the obvious first step which the gambling industry in India can take to optimise its appeal to generation z. Many an online casino in India already offers thousands of eSports markets - but it's fair to say they are yet to crack the mainstream.
By its very nature, gaming can be addictive without the additional temptation to bet on it. All online operators must embrace a responsible marketing approach that puts forward tools to control betting patterns.
What is more, Generation Z is young, impressionable, and open to learning about responsible gaming habits, while professional streamers are generally keen to advocate for them. It represents the perfect opportunity for operators to aggressively propagate safe gambling practices.
Options can include deposit limits, wagering boundaries, and time-out functions. Plus, all customer-facing content should consist of links to gambling awareness charities and reminders for players to gamble within their means.
Trust is one of the critical drivers of success in online gambling - companies must foster a relationship with their customers, and a responsible gambling strategy should be the middle prong in this approach.
The gaming industry should be entering the Metaverse with its eyes wide open!
For example, Facebook Gaming (by Meta) already stakes a claim in the game streaming market, with over 100 million monthly gameplay sessions.
According to Manish Chopra, director and head of partnerships at Facebook India, "For the last two years, we've been pretty serious in growing, and our numbers are very clearly evident… what we haven't been doing is going out and talking so much about it. In recent months, we've seen dramatic growth…much larger than any of those platforms that are specifically gaming-only..."
They may be jostling globally for a space on the streaming market, with YouTube and Twitch still ahead of the game, but it will only be a matter of time before the Metaverse becomes the go-to platform for gamers.
However, Mr Chopra does not see their rival behemoths as direct rivals: "Nobody needs to lose for us to win and therefore we are actively growing the market."
How the iGaming sphere in India chooses to best approach the growing spectre of generation z engaging in light online casino entertainment will set a long-term precedent. In an era where widespread legalisation of betting in India has never been closer, companies need to tread carefully and intelligently to stay one step ahead of the competition.