The talks of whether sports betting should be legalized in India are getting louder now that the industry is gaining more popularity. Sports betting has always been an attractive activity to India because of how much love the country has for sports especially cricket and football. Over 400 million would watch cricket and other sports events in the country and a huge chunk of them are placing bets on major sports events.
MyBetting released a report that around 370 million Indians would place bets on major sports events while around 140 million do this regularly. The majority of Indian punters also prefer placing their bets online. This is why a site about Online casinos in India – reviews, bonuses, and tips are also gaining more popularity. People are constantly finding ways to figure out which sites are the best when it comes to placing their bets.
The Indian sports betting industry has already reached a value of over a billion USD in 2019. It is projected to grow as much as 2.2 billion USD by the end of 2022 with a CAGR of 40 percent. This shows how much growth is projected to be seen in this arena and this is why people are starting to talk about why the government should start looking into it.
Where India is When it Comes to Betting Laws
A quick search on whether online gambling or betting is legal in India can be a bit confusing to many. It is, after all, still in the grey area. Some sites are quick to claim that online gambling is illegal in the country but this isn’t exactly the current status of this activity.
What people should know is that gambling as a whole is a state subject in the country. This means that each state in India is entitled to have its regulations regarding this activity. On a national level, what is used to regulate gambling activities is the Public Gaming Act of 1867. Based on the year it was passed as a law alone, you can expect that it doesn’t have any mention on online gambling as, during this time, there was still no internet.
With this law alone, we can already say that online gambling isn’t illegal. There is also the Information Technology Act 2000 which regulates online activities in the country. However, this too doesn’t have anything on gambling or betting. And so, technically speaking, online gambling is still not illegal on a national level.
There are states where forms of online gambling are banned. These are in the states of Telangana and Andhra Pradesh. The state of Karnataka is also pushing to implement a ban on online gaming that has something to do with gambling or games of chance. However, critics are saying that this may take a while to happen as the bill about the bad still have discrepancies.
Why Legislation Could Be Beneficial
There are only two states that no longer allow forms of online betting. However, one of these states is reported to be on the top spot when it comes to sports betting. On MyBetting’s recent online betting statistics, they found that Telangana has 18.7 percent of the country’s betting market. This is followed by Karnataka with 13.2 percent and Maharashtra with 9.6 percent.
This shows how even if there is a ban on the activity, the locals are still finding ways to place their bets. With that comes the talk of how the underground betting scene is benefiting from illegal bets. The thing is that India is losing a lot of money from the underground market and offshore-based casinos.
The majority of online betting sites that Indian’s are accessing today are based offshore and India is not earning tax money from them. India is practically losing millions of tax revenues that can be used on government projects. Aside from tax profit, the legislation of online betting can surely increase the number of jobs in the country.
Regulating sports betting or gambling, in general, is not easy. It takes a while for a bill to be created and passed as a law. It will have to undergo a lot of sessions and hearings. Gambling, after all, also comes with plenty of risks. However, if done correctly, the benefits can easily outweigh the risks.
The United Kingdom is one of the countries with the most lenient gambling laws. While most forms of gambling are legal in the UK, they still ensure the safety of the people by implementing strict rules and appointing a body that focuses on responsible gambling.
The UK Gambling Commission sees to it that gambling companies adhere to the regulations and that programs are in place for problems or harms caused by the activity. India could surely take some lessons from how the UK is regulating the industry. At the moment, it’s hard to say whether the government will head towards legalizing sports betting. We can only wait for now.