With more than 290 million smartphone users, India is one of the world’s largest mobile markets. With all those smartphones comes a lot of data. The latest report from Google Play shows that Indians are choosing skill-based games, like poker, over mindless button mashers, like Fruit Ninja or Candy Crush. Get more information here about skill-based gaming.
But what is the catalyst that drives this change? Sure, poker’s a fun and challenging game with a lot of reward, but that’s not the only reason. Two of India’s top ten downloads for February 2017 were poker games. This is a very unique phenomenon, where skill-based gambling games beat out other games for a top ten position.
The real reason gambling is becoming such a popular mobile pastime in India are the advances in mobile connectivity and the inclusion of mobile compatibility with more and more devices. The obvious answer would be that culturally, Indians like to gamble, and now that they’re not tied to a desktop computer anymore, the numbers of mobile gamblers is rising.
But there’s more to it than that. Specifically, the kind of poker game makes all the difference. The number one gambling game in India is called Teen Patti, which is a three-card form of poker that Indians have been playing for decades. The point is it’s steeped in Indian culture.
Rather than trying to sell the country on another World Series of Poker app, developers are including cultural ties into their games, and it’s paying dividends.
The lesson to global market developers is to be culturally aware of your target demographic. Don’t think that a one-size-fits-all product will cross cultural barriers. To actually capture a unique cultural market, it’s best to work with that market’s culture and norms as much as possible.
The future of poker in India looks bright. In fact, if India follows the same poker path as western countries, it could soon be a major poker market. Not just online poker either. Many poker players play both online and live games. In fact, most poker series offer their winning online players seats at tournaments. Live and online poker are becoming very intermingled and dependent on each other.
It’s too soon to tell if this poker craze is just a fad or if it’s there to stay. One thing’s for sure, online casinos in India are loving it!