Simply stating that Indians enjoy cricket would be a colossal understatement. The Indian Premier League (IPL) has highlighted the sporting revolution in the world’s most populated country.
Cricket has long been the number one sport for Indians, with hundreds of millions watching their heroes play on the international circuit and the colossal recent success of the IPL. But what is driving this astounding success in the IPL? Many have pondered this, given that the popularity of cricket in India has barely waivered for the best part of 100 years.
Successful Gambling Markets
One variable that many analysts believe has played a crucial role in driving the success of the IPL is the associated gambling markets that work alongside it. The whole format of IPL cricket is a hypercharged version of ODI cricket. It’s the natural progression of the sport from week-long test matches that can span for days and have little to no activity for hours at a time to 50 over ODI (One Day Internationals) to the even more condensed T20 where teams try to score the most runs in 120 balls.
Some purists have besmirched the idea of T20 cricket, believing it rips away the game’s dynamic that has been popular for over 150 years. Others are less dramatic and Blaise about the development. Either way, there’s no denying that it has injected excitement and brought many more casual viewers to the sport. Gambling companies have taken advantage of this popularity and the shorter, more intense game, where you can bet on multiple in-game markets.
Cricket isn’t the only market propped up by the immense capabilities and enhancements delivered through gambling markets. Other sports like football and other gambling markets like casino gaming were among the first to experience this lightning bolt of innovation. It’s not just one element in casino gaming that witnessed a new, added dimension to their service. Every facet of the industry, from roulette to blackjack and poker, felt the change. Online poker games witnessed a fundamental change, as many casino goers felt as though the transition wouldn’t have been effective due to the reliance of poker gaming on body language and mind games.
The rest is history; as they say, online poker became an overnight sensation and is now the preferred way to gamble for many people. T20 cricket was hit with the same detractors, the purists who pined for these classic institutions to remain the same. However, T20 cricket and mobile casino gaming have both shown that change can be beneficial so long as it is implemented correctly. T20 now sees tremendous activity, especially during big IPL games, and it continues to generate activity on social media and fuel the sport’s growth.
Legislation in India has become more fluid and allows more people to place bets on cricket. While it might not have had the same impact as it has had in the United States, where a once-in-a-generation court ruling has led to millions of people being able to gamble in areas of the country where it has been forbidden for decades. India has a similar approach, and the area or jurisdiction sets the gambling laws, so while there can be varying rules, the overall consensus is that it has become much easier to gamble within the country.
India is one of a handful of countries predicted to experience immense economic growth and social change over the next decade. Goldman Sachs believes India could become the second-biggest economy in the world within the next 50 years. This sort of growth creates better wealth and living standards, and while disparity is still rife and there are still many poverty-driven issues to address, the future looks promising. With over 1.4 billion people residing in the country, mobile phones becoming cheaper, and people having better opportunities to generate wealth for themselves, this means more people can watch the IPL on laptops, phones, or in bars and on television.
Every conceivable analytic point in the direction that this positive will continue, and it will continue to push numbers high. In addition, many IPL owners are Indian billionaires who have profited from the immense potential of the country’s economy over the last ten years. This has led to them bringing in some of the biggest stars in world cricket, which has a trickle-down effect and makes the league appeal to a broader set of international viewers, both ardent cricket fans and casual.
These are the main variables that have driven the rise of the IPL. The appeal in other countries where cricket also has considerable popularity, such as England and Australia, has stimulated the league’s popularity, as the most prominent stars from England and Australia sign for IPL clubs for big money and stir up interest from cricket fans in these countries.
Alongside the Saudi Premier League, the IPL could be the sports league that sees the most growth in activity and viewing numbers over the next decade or two. It’ll be fascinating to see how it develops and whether it can become the crossover version of cricket that could unlock the door to billions in revenue in the UK, US, and further afield.