Along with the esports and gaming industry, the real money gaming space has also grown in 2022, especially the fantasy sports segment as it was the year of FIFA World Cup, T20 World Cup and IPL. What attracted the viewers/consumers attention towards this sector even further was the fact that the fantasy sports operators and platforms stepped up as advertisers. Be it Rummy, Poker or fantasy sports, the audience is becoming more mature. According to the FICCI EY report, transaction-based game revenues grew 26 per cent on the back of fantasy sports and rummy in 2021 and it’s continued to grow. Also poker tournaments gained a lot of traction in 2022.

Every poker and rummy platform is attempting to establish their own brand by either collaborating with the biggest tournaments, hosting its own events, or engaging brand ambassadors which has helped them acquire more players and gain popularity. The market value of the Indian skill gaming industry, according to Statista, was around Rs 79 billion in the financial year (FY) 2021–2022 and is projected to reach Rs 150 billion in FY 2023–2024, representing a CAGR of roughly 15 per cent.

Also the Ministry of Electronics and Information Technology (MeitY) has been designated by the federal government as the official organisation to oversee the skill gaming sector in India. This action has given the industry respectability as it eagerly awaited regulatory reform to increase investment and safeguard the predominantly young gaming population.

Here is what industry experts said regarding the year 2022, their growth in 2022, and their goals for 2023:

All India Gaming Federation CEO Roland Landers 

Roland Landers

“AIGF is determined to fuel the hon’ble prime minister’s vision for the online skill gaming sector through continued expansion and evolution of this industry in India. Since the prospects of this industry are extremely positive, major regulatory challenges, including those relating to financial regulations, remain unaddressed. We expect government’s support to help the industry eliminate these major roadblocks, seizing the opportunity for India to compete at par with the global standards.

Additionally, the sector is poised to offer over two lakh direct and indirect jobs in coming years and contribute over Rs 60,000 crores in tax revenue to the government by 2025. Considering the substantial potential that this industry holds, a well clarified, uniform and accommodating taxation regime would provide the desired inflection to the sunrise sector. A failure to rectify these tax and regulatory concerns, however, may see our skill gaming industry lose its competitive advantage.” 

Jayendra More 

PlayerzPot AVP Product Jayendra More 
“The year 2022 has been full of challenges and opportunities for the gaming industry. Evolving from inadequate regulations with technological development, we are set to enter a new era of Web3 gaming in 2023, which will take over past trends of Multiplayer Casual Mobile Gaming, Real money gaming, decentralisation, AR/VR, and Metaverse. As young gamers and developers seek far more advanced technologies, the upcoming year will witness unprecedented convergence of blockchain and metaverse. Cloud gaming, Metaverse, and new consoles will be other trends to incorporate better user experience.

While blockchain will resolve longstanding concerns such as privacy breaches, data control, or content authenticity, we can also expect more gaming companies to use NFTs to monetize their in-game characters, assets, costumes, and other assets. We foresee the metaverse bringing in virtual cash and physical interactions between gamers. Extensive use of cryptocurrencies and NFTs in other industries will soon open up a near-realistic virtual world, which will provide genre-defining, immersive experiences.”

Witzeal Technologies CEO and founder Ankur Singh

Ankur Singh

“The Indian online gaming market is burgeoning swiftly, resulting in the synthesis of new employment and revenue-generating opportunities. Market numbers of the skill gaming industry alone are expected to reach $182 billion by 2025, backed by the mushrooming popularity of gaming as both, business, and recreation. Backing this up, reports further reveal that India now witnesses almost equal traction from gamers in tier two and three towns as it does from metros. Going forward, we believe that innovation and the personalisation of experiences will be the key pillars supporting the growth of the Indian gaming market in the future. Fuelling this growth further, the adoption of cutting-edge technologies like 5G, 360-degree video, and augmented, virtual, and mixed realities (AR/ VR/ MR) have been and will support the growth of this market in the upcoming year. The recent introduction of 5G would revolutionise the gaming industry in India. Not only would it speed up mobile internet, but also considerably aid in the removal of technological barriers and enable cost savings across various geographies, towards the creation of an inclusive online gaming community. 

As the sector is growing exponentially and is poised to further advance for good, the government should now enact a uniform central legislation for gaming. A step as such will boost the trust of the sector with its users and streamline gaming companies to follow compliances, attracting new investments and with it, new employment opportunities.”

Satyam Rastogi 

Khiladi Adda and GamerPe founder and CEO Satyam Rastogi
“Indian gaming ecosystem has grown leaps and bounds in the last year. As per the latest figures, India now has the second biggest gamers’ community in the world, with the RMG segment contributing to around 60 million players as per RedSeer and Lukimai. With smartphones becoming ubiquitous and the availability of cheaper internet access even in the remotest parts of the country, real money gaming has become the go to activity for people of all ages in the last few years. RMG companies like Dream11, Games24/7 and Khiladiadda have further boosted the demand by bringing in an extra element of instant gratification added with the thrill of games.

2023 holds a lot of promise for the ecosystem as the 5G rollout will reach its inflection point, this will have tremendous impact on mobile based RMG. The goal of gaming companies would be to penetrate even deeper into India and to find ways to monetise this large base of users to enhance their top line. The industry has been constantly advocating regulation through an institutionalized mechanism which will bring both credibility and stability into the system. We can expect better clarity on GST treatment and the issue of game of skill versus chance. There will surely be renewed interest from the investor community into the gaming sector.”

Quadrific Media Limited co-founder and chief executive officer Amin Rozani

Amin Rozani

2022 has been bullish for people in the Real Money Gaming space. It is the fastest-growing sector in India in 2022. It took over a prominent position in the arena of online gaming. Poker, Rummy, and fantasy sports are some prominent skill-based games in the RMG arena that have minimised components of luck and chance and transformed gaming into mainstream entertainment and a social media alternative. As major gaming companies and startups in this space strive to make the gaming experience more fun-filled and immersive, it is likely that real money games will propel the growth of the overall gaming industry in the country. The RMG industry, which is still quite young, is too excited about the prospects and opportunities that metaverse will bring in and is putting its bet on NFTs to push the growth of the sector in the metaverse. Online gaming market is estimated to generate a total revenue of Rs 11900 crore by the year 2023 according to a report by the KPMG and IFSG, which have highlighted the demand for this industry in the Indian markets.

The industry creates an amazing opportunity for all the gaming enthusiasts to turn their passion into a profession as there are countless chances for valuable growth and to expand one’s base through RMG. To reach its full potential, maximise income, and become a worldwide leader, India’s RMG business need strong legislative frameworks and digital infrastructure. A government organisation is necessary to monitor operations, design progressive regulations to avert social concerns, classify games of skill or chance, assure consumer protection, and combat illegality and criminality. In addition, gaming businesses should continue to collaborate with the government to promote responsible gaming by educating players, implementing best practices like KYC checks, user authentication, and so on to prevent illegal activities and financial transactions on their platforms.”

Gameskraft head of brand strategy Amit Kushwaha

Amit Kushwaha

“2022 has been a great year for RMG. In the post lockdown world, online gaming was able to sustain the same growth momentum which we had seen earlier. This is a testament to our belief that the growth seen during the pandemic was not just due to the lockdown, but also because of better services, product changes, and higher trust that RMG players have grown to place on the industry. Carefully studying and responding to user needs have been the key drivers for this sustained growth. 

We are very proud that the growth momentum that RummyCulture saw in the previous year, has sustained in 2022 too. Our constant endeavours to introduce new and exciting features for players and a razor sharp focus on customer trust and experience, have helped us carry this energy. Moreover, we also brought new marketing ideas to life, such as our ‘Culture of Champions’ campaign launched during the IPL, association with Vijay Deverakonda starrer ‘Liger’, and other campaigns, which really gave us a boost in terms of unaided brand awareness, as well as several trust parameters. We are sure that with our commitment to constantly creating better experiences for players, we will continue to be on this growth trajectory.  

Like 2022, year 2023 will also see us launching new features aimed at enhancing user experiences and building products for greater gaming experiences. We will also continue to keep our ears close to our players to constantly improve and push the envelope on innovation, based on their feedback and evolving requirements. We continue to be dedicated to providing unmatched gaming and user experiences to all of our players.”

The ongoing efforts of RMG operators to engage current players and attract new ones through tournaments and promotions have aided the industry’s expansion. Once the government’s initiatives provide the enthusiasts and current skill game players with greater clarity, it will be wonderful to watch what 2023 holds for the RMG sector.