Globally, the sports betting industry has some of the fastest-growing businesses out there. It’s becoming more popular as years go by and it is still expected to grow in the coming years. The entire sports betting market was able to reach a whopping value of over 203 billion USD last year and it’s not yet done growing.
India is known for its love to gamble on sports and this is mainly driven by cricket. Whenever the biggest cricket leagues and tournaments like the Indian Premier League are on, people would flock to the top cricket betting sites in India to place their bets.
It is estimated that the Indian Betting industry was able to reach a value of around 90 billion rupees last year and by the end of 2022, it is projected to go as much as 143 billion rupees. With that, it is likely that that the betting industry will eventually be regulated in the country.
Is Sports Betting Legal in India?
While many of the locals believe that sports betting is illegal in the country, it isn’t. However, sports betting seems to still be in the grey area at the moment. Indian laws dictate that betting on games of chances is what’s illegal and what isn’t is betting on games of skills. What’s lacking in the standing laws is that it doesn’t determine whether sports betting is a game of skill or chance. This is why it’s still in the grey area.
However, the constitution of India also states that betting and gambling are subject under Schedule 7 List item 34. According to this, the legislation and regulation of sports betting and other forms of gambling will be dependent on the decision of each state. And so, each state in the country has the power to decide whether such activities will be legal or not.
There are already states in India that have gambling and batting regulations in place. Nagaland, Goa, and Sikkim are already regulating both online and offline gambling activities within their territories and these are places where people can operate online and offline gambling businesses. Nagaland is even seeking the exemption of games of skills under its gambling ambit through a pan India application.
Why Sports Betting is Huge in the Country
India is a country that generally loves to gamble. Aside from sports betting, the locals are also fond of playing real money table games. The biggest online casinos worldwide even know about as many of them are now offering traditional local games like Teen Patti and Andar Bahar. These gambling companies also allow the locals to deposit and withdraw money with Indian rupees, the local currency.
Aside from gambling, India is also huge in sports. Cricket takes the top spot when it comes to which sport is the most followed here. Other known sports in the country include football and hockey. The love for these sports is so big that it’s hard to just not wager on them.
Another factor included as to why sports betting is huge in the country is convenience and availability. Nowadays, people can place their bets anytime and anywhere they are thanks to smartphones and improved mobile internet connection.
Based on a report about the gambling statistics in India, 40 percent of the country’s internet users are gambling online and there are over 560 million internet users in the country. This means that over 220 million people are gambling in India and this number is still expected to grow. This is why India has such a huge potential in the eyes of many gambling companies.
What Lies Ahead
With all that prediction, more gambling companies will likely want to immerse themselves in the Indian market. Why wouldn’t they? India’s population, a growing number of mobile and internet users, and a huge love for sports are perfect ingredients to a successful sports betting market. There are reports that many UK gambling companies are already eyeing India to be the next big thing.
The numbers are saying it all and it is only a matter of time before the government will finally have a look at what’s happening. While the betting market in India is huge, many are still placing their bets underground and this is something that can only be avoided if the industry will be regulated. However, when it comes to when this will happen is still hard to predict at the moment. What’s sure is that there will come a time that sports betting will no longer be in the grey area and will be regulated by most – if not all – states in the country.