The Indian online gambling market is growing at a meteoric rate and is now worth over a billion dollars. It’s expected to grow by close to 50% by the year 2022. With a rich gambling culture, cutting-edge internet technology, and a youthful population, it’s easy to see why online gambling is a fast-growing industry in the country. But how does online gambling work in India? Is it even legal to gamble? In this article, we’ll take a closer look into the ins and outs of gambling in India today.
Legal Gambling in India
The legal standpoint of gambling in India is a bit tricky. Land-based casinos are prohibited from operating in any of the states, except Sikkim and Goa. These two states have become the default gambling capitals of India, as Nevada was in the United States before the fall of the PASPA. As gambling is still illegal in the rest of the country, gamblers have to travel to Goa or Sikkim, unless they are lucky enough to already be residents of these states. Fortunately, online gambling is fast-growing and balancing the scales in India.
How online gambling works in India
Because Indian laws prohibit gambling, casinos aren’t allowed to operate within the country’s borders. Nothing can, however, stop offshore online betting sites from offering their services to Indian bettors. As long as a gaming site accepts the Indian Rupee, players can register and start betting. It is illegal, but hard to enforce such a law in a country with more than a billion people, all with easy access to mobile devices and the internet.
If countries determined their national sports by their popularity alone, then cricket would, hands down, be it for India. The sports history in the country dates back to the formative days of the British Empire. It, therefore, doesn’t come as a surprise that the sport is extremely popular with punters across the country. The Indian national sport is also popular on bet.xyz bookmakers and the Indian Premier League, its main competition, is the most followed sporting event in the country.
Betting activity always reaches lofty heights during international tournaments like the ICC World Cup or ODIs. Indian bettors idolise and bet on players like MS Dhoni, Rahul Dravid, Sachin Tendulkar, and Saurav Ganguly and typically place bets on them. Even though India goes all out to restrict sports betting, the bar is lowered a bit when it comes to lotteries and horse racing. The government licensed a few organisations to provide these gambling products.
Growth of eSports
Another betting opportunity that’s taking centre stage in India is eSports. This rise in popularity is not just anecdotal, the numbers also back this claim up. India is currently ranked at the 17th position in the $1.5 billion eSports industry. The Indian eSports market still lacks proper structure, but it’s already worth more than $800 million, and it’s growing rapidly. This rapid growth can be attributed to several reasons. According to recent surveys, most Indians play and bet on eSports for fun and excitement. Another strong motivator is the ability to manage virtual teams and engage your knowledge of various sports.
Online Casino Gaming
The Indian online gambling industry would not have grown so rapidly without any online casino games to play. Online slots, table games, and live dealer games have certainly contributed to the growth of the industry. Even though gambling on casino games is illegal, offshore online casinos still provide quick access to Indian players. Table games like blackjack and roulette seem to pull the largest crowd. Teen Patti is another Indian player favourite.
The Future of Gambling in India
Although it’s still in its budding stages, the Indian gambling industry looks promising. The country has generated a lot of interest in the last decade, with online gambling giants clamouring to get coveted gambling licenses in Sikkim. The country is, therefore, already developing strong relationships with several betting brands. Sikkim and Goa are the only two states that have offered gambling licenses at the moment.
These moves are hoped by gambling fans and operators in the country to be a precursor to an eventual relaxation of gambling laws across the rest of the country. Such a move would open up the existing industry and clear a path for a much more lucrative market. With these small steps and new opportunities, the gambling industry is sure to grow.