Online Betting and Gaming Picks up in India
Online betting and casinos have been gaining popularity in India and there are many websites offering easy options for betting online. Indian government hasn’t specified rules regarding online betting and many of the betting websites hosted outside India can allow Indian consumers to place bets or gamble online. Online gambling has been growing in the recent years and there are many platforms offering safe online gambling options for users in India.
According to the Public Gambling Act (1867), all kinds of gambling in India are illegal. However, for online gambling, there isn’t any law in the Indian constitution. Indian government has not specified any law against casino online in India.
Talking about the issue, Vikrant Pachnanda, a Delhi high court advocate and managing editor of India Law Journal said, “If an Indian resident decides to place bets on a website hosted outside the country, it would be difficult to hold him guilty of online gambling if the laws of the country where the website is hosted, permits online gambling.”
Indian government has been proactive in announcing ban on crypto-currency and its trading but on online betting and casinos, there isn’t any regulation from the government yet. People love to trade in India. Online forex trading, stock market trading and commodity trading have been growing steadily in India. These sectors are closely regulated by market regulator SEBI. It will be a step in the right direction if the Indian government regulates and allows online gambling. Till that time, online platforms hosted outside India will provide a secure option for people to place their bets online.
Sports related betting attracts interest of many people and government should take positive steps in legalization of sports betting and online casinos. As per estimates of industry body FICCI, the betting segment in India exchanges nearly 3 lakh crore in cash each year, through different forms of betting. By allowing betting, government could collect revenue.
KPMG has collected data regarding online betting in India. As per their estimates, online betting accounted for nearly Rs 4380 crore during financial year 2018.
Member of Parliament Shashi Tharoor introduced a Private Member’s Bill titled the Sports (Online Gaming and Prevention of Fraud) Bill in Parliament in December 2018. While presenting the bill, Mr. Tharoor said, “The long-term prognosis for sports and betting is bleak if corruption is not dealt with. While self-regulatory practices need to be followed by the industry, there is an urgent need to have a statutory framework with government oversight to ensure service providers are following license conditions to track suspicious betting patterns and to have some control over the money flow to curb the generation of black money.”
Indian football star Baichung Bhutia has also supported online betting industry. Sikkim and Goa have lenient laws regarding betting and gambling. These two states have generated decent revenue from operations in this segment.
While the government might take time to bring in a regulation, Indians planning to try online betting and sports betting can review different platforms offering services specifically to Indian consumers. Majority of online betting websites, sports betting platforms and online casinos operating in India accept Indian currency and pay back in Indian currency.