The industry of local gambling, in general, is doing quite well in India. As we write these lines, it is hovering around 1 billion dollars but its prospect is even greater. Specialists say that it could get up all the way to 112 billion over the next four years. No wonder many companies, especially in Europe, are looking to buy in on the action. Here is a closer look at the current situation and what the future holds, in the cards.
A Wide Variety of Choices for Gamblers
Gambling activities in India are quite varied. There are a large number of lotteries available to the public, but also casino games as well as sports betting; two sectors of the industry that have been doing rather well, over the last few years. That is partly due to the popularity of online casinos that managed to reach a larger crowd during the lockdown periods. But what made gamblers come back to them, was the variety and high-quality of the games offered, as well as the better level of security that they found. With welcome bonuses, internet users are able to try their hands at various games, to see if they enjoy it, before starting to bet money on them. Some of the most famous casino games in India today are Teen Patti, Adar Bahar, and Rummy.
As in most countries, sport betting is quite strong in India. But in this country, cricket is the game that attracts gamblers to the betting sites. It is from afar the favourite sports of Indians. In fact, even though the sport is not so well developed internationally, its popularity in India suffices to render it one of the most watched sports internationally. It is not a surprise that those who know the sport well would want to wager money on some of the games, featuring their favourite team.
What are the Laws regarding Gambling in India?
Although the gambling industry is modernizing itself at great speed, the same cannot be said about the laws regarding it. In fact, the only law existing in the country dates back to 1867. The Public Gaming Act, that was published then, forbids all forms of gambling. And although it is true that it does not mention online gambling, it is simply because it did not exist back then. But the Technology Act, that was written and brought forward in 2000, could have solved the issue. Yet, it did not mention online gambling, which basically leaves the industry in a gray area, when it comes to its legality.
That said, there are three states in India that have legalized the activities of physical casinos in India. They are Sikkim, Goa, and Daman. The first one even implemented a clear law in 2008, which enables players to use various online casino table games, legally. But since there aren’t any laws allowing Indian companies to go into the online casino business, that means that all activities are being offered by offshore casinos. The only request they have to follow to be able to do so, is to enable the local currency for players to use.
Now, some states are simply banning online casinos from their territory. It is the case for Telangana and Andhra Pradesh, since January 2020. And not long ago, it became illegal to gamble online when residing inside the state of Karnata. The problem is, it doesn’t stop the gambling done underground, which only in sports betting is considered to have reach close to 130 billion dollars, already in 2018. That is why it is becoming urgent for the government to look at how to legalize online gambling.