Historically it happened
India has lagged far behind the progressive world on this important issue of gambling regulation, so its policy in this area raises questions from consumers and a desire to find a loophole among service providers. Therefore, the approach to the issue must be divided into formal and factual. Formally legal – no. In fact? This is where questions arise.
Back in those distant times, when India was the main pearl in the crown of the British Empire, to put it simply, its most profitable colony, a law of 1867 was passed prohibiting any kind of bets to make a profit. The bookie business was banned, which, even in a distant metropolis, did not quite get on its feet. Needless to say, other gambling games that brought in money also fell under the gun of the government. Moreover, the ban also applied to visit any gambling establishments. Since those distant times, little has changed at the legislative level, except that the lottery was allowed in 1998, which brings good money to the treasury.
In the face of change
Yes, there are few changes at the legislative level, but the world has changed irreversibly. The law of 1867 does not correspond to today’s reality for a long time. This is especially true of the ubiquitous Internet. For obvious reasons, there is nothing in the law about online sports betting, so international bookmakers use this not even a loophole, but a huge hole in the law to carry out their activities in the vast territory of India without even physically appearing there. Imperfect legislation allows them to do this. But before continuing, a few words must be said about the market itself and the country in which it operates.
India, as everyone knows from school, is the most populous country in the world after China, of course. About one billion and three hundred million inhabitants live here – an incredible number. But here it is immediately worth making a significant remark – half of them vegetate, if not in poverty, then in poverty. By the standards of Europe, most of the Indians are not of interest to bookmakers – tens of millions do not even have a roof over their heads. Thus, the colossal size of the population is compensated by its extreme poverty.
Now about what the Indians prefer to bet on. Without a doubt, cricket is considered the most popular sport in the country. Originated in Britain, cricket has conquered all the colonies, but in India, it has become a national treasure and attracts millions of customers. Just as in Europe they fiercely bet on football, so the Indians do not miss an opportunity to bet on cricket. This is the first number for bettors in the country.
Further, we can name field hockey and football. As for the latter, the punters prefer to choose distant European football for bets. You can also name tennis and the local game of Kabaddi, which is hardly understood by Europeans, but very popular among fans and betting fans in India.
Second British colonization
India has long been an independent country, but in terms of betting, it is again a colony. Hence the constantly arising question – is betting legal in India? Moreover, the further the Internet penetrates the jungle, high mountains, and deserts, the clearer this fact becomes.
The National Bank tried to restrict transactions towards gambling companies, but this attempt does little in a world where profits of e-wallets are not controlled by the state.
It’s easy to bet in India even with a betting odds if there are payment and withdrawal methods. Indians with money do not know the problem with this, and masse registering in payment systems. For their money and souls, not only bookmakers in Great Britain are fighting, but also Asian monsters.
The Indian market is flooded with fast-win deals. Although here it is necessary to remark that not all the monsters of the bookmaking business will bury themselves on the Indian pie so far, so soon we can expect the arrival of new players, which will tighten the market, and this, in turn, will ensure an advantage for local players.
Since the old law leaves the problem of gambling at the discretion of the states, some rushed to allow betting. For example, the state of Sikkim, apparently to provide the opportunity to play for numerous tourists, allowed bets. It was from here that the Playwin online lottery went to the masses. The same goes for Goa, a favorite holiday destination for Europeans in India. Another former Portuguese colony, Daman, has acquired a similar innovation.
But these enclaves naturally have little chance to qualify for a rapid gambling infestation across the country. Much more interesting is the talk in the press that after 2023 the authorities intend to seriously concern themselves with the problem of regulating gambling. And to regulate them, you will first need to enable them and register. Based on the international experience of such decisions, we can say that the case will certainly drag on for years. But the main thing is to start.
But the Indians are likely to wait. And they hardly want to pay taxes on winnings. So far, the law is not strict, and not a single citizen of the country has yet been punished for betting on sports. On the other hand, the regulation would help to rip off some of the clientele from fraudsters who are blatantly brazen in the local market.