Kabaddi Continues to Grow Its Presence, Increasing PKL Purse and Moving into iGaming

While still leagues behind the IPL’s viewership, funding, and exposure, kabaddi has risen significantly since the launch of the Pro Kabaddi League.

Kabaddi Continues to Grow Its Presence, Increasing PKL Purse and Moving into iGaming
Kabaddi Continues to Grow Its Presence, Increasing PKL Purse and Moving into iGaming
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In the vast nation of India, naturally, cricket reigns supreme – and has done for decades. Still, with over 1.3 billion people dotted around the Subcontinent, there’s plenty of space for more than one major sport. Since 2014, that major sport has looked to be kabaddi, which has only continued to grow in every regard over the last ten years.

While still leagues behind the IPL’s viewership, funding, and exposure, kabaddi has risen significantly since the launch of the Pro Kabaddi League. Interest in the top-tier competition alone has surged by 33 percent, according to these statistics, while interest as a whole in the sport has grown by 14 percent year-on-year. It’s seen as an innovative and entertaining sport.

Thanks to further investments from broadcasters like Star India, T Sports in Bangladesh, and ESPN+ over in the US, there’s enough money in the league to attract top stars and new talents. Now, the PKL’s reach is seen as far as Africa, the Middle East, and East Asia. In another sign of its popularity, the sport even has a presence in the increasingly popular space of iGaming in India.

Kabaddi Raiders proves an instant hit online

If there’s one place in entertainment you can look to for a demonstration of what’s hot right now, it’s iGaming. Developers can make entertainment products like table and slot games relatively quickly, and as the eye-catching title and theme are so important to getting players, they tend to jump on the top trending themes. This is why, on this website, Kabaddi Raiders is prominently posted as one of the top Indian games.

Sitting alongside Andar Bahar and Teen Patti live games from Ezugi, the Indi slots sensation has players spinning the reels to land kabaddi-themed symbols and search for the sports-like features. While the slot was predominantly made for the developers to appeal to as many Indian slot players as possible, its presence also serves another purpose for the sport.

By being available at a leading Indian online casino, Kabaddi Raiders subtly also promotes the sport itself. It’s clearly visible on the site, among other top slots like Book of Dead, Fa Cai Shen, and Mega Moolah, lending it a great deal of authenticity. This also proves how popular the sport is and that its fans are ready to engage with it even this far beyond the court.

Expanding the KPL under growing demand

The Pro Kabaddi League has been the centerpiece for the growth of the sport, taking it from a much more casual meet-up game to a professional organization. With plenty of money on the line for those who participate, athletes can devote more time to training and even aspire to reach the league from anywhere in the world.

What started as an eight-team league rapidly grew to 12, and while commercial circles and international brand participation are still on the rise, they’re not quite at the level to warrant an expansion to 16 or 20 teams. Still, this route for expansion is very much on KPL’s mind.

This year, the Pro Kabaddi League 2023 Auction showed further signs of growth and progress. As we covered here for the event, teams were able to retain a great mix of up-and-coming talents as well as experienced stars, but the real headline-maker was U Mumba paying a record Rs 68 lakh for Amirmohammad Zafardanesh. 

There’s clearly money in the league, and for this tenth edition, the purse was increased from Rs 4.5 crore to Rs 5 crore, hoping that it’ll increase the potential for teams to acquire and keep the best players in the world. Now, while still likely another couple of seasons away, the KPL has announced that a women’s league will be launched.

It’s an exciting time for kabaddi players and, particularly, PKL fans. The sport’s continually on the rise, and it’ll only become more prominent in the years to come.