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  • Why the Popularity of Online Gambling is on the Rise in India

    Published on February 16, 2022

    Gambling has been a part of Indian history and culture for a long time. Indians love to play card games and bet on sports and this is why today, online casinos and sportsbooks are gaining more popularity in the country.

    Indians love to play games like poker and blackjack but now that online casinos know how big the market is in the country, they’ve also tailor-fitted their services to the locals. Today, Indian gamblers can also play their favorite traditional or local card games like Teen Patti and Andar Bahar online.

    The Legality of Online Gambling in India

    There are a few reasons why the online gambling market in India is growing and most of it is because of legal online betting sites and apps in India. While gambling laws are quite strict on a national level, it has no mention of online gambling. This is why the locals are free to place their bets on online casinos that are based offshore.

    The Public Gaming Act of 1867 is the basis of how gambling activities are regulated in India. It became a law when the internet was non-existent so there’s no mention of online gambling at all. There’s also the Information Technology Act of 2000 that regulates all online activities in India. However, this too doesn’t mention anything about online gambling. In short, it’s an activity that’s not regulated and is still in the grey area in India.

    As long as the online casino is not operating or based within the country, they’re free to offer their services in India. However, in some states, it’s required that these operators allow transactions with the local currencies. Aside from this, some states have imposed a ban on online gaming like Telangana and Karnataka.

    While these states have imposed a ban on online gaming including gambling, MyBetting released a report last year that these are the states that bet the most. Telangana has the most people who bet online with 18.7% and Karnataka is second with 13.2%. This means that even with the prohibitions in place, people are still betting anyway.

    The state of Tamil Nadu has also imposed a ban on online gaming early in 2021. However, before the year ended, the Madras High Court struck down the Tamil Nadu Gaming and Police Laws Act of 2021 as they deemed it unconstitutional. Whether the other states will experience the same is something we still have to watch out for.

    Still, the Madras High Court said that Tamil Nadu could still work on a constitutional prohibition, and based on recent reports, the state is going after it. Meanwhile, the state of Karnataka also seems unfazed by the criticisms that the ban on online gaming could negatively impact India’s growing game development industry.

    There is still hope, however, that India will eventually regulate online gambling instead. Countries like the United Kingdom have been successful with doing so over the years. India could learn from this country and gain revenues from the industry instead of losing millions or even billions from offshore gambling companies.

    Why is Online Gambling Now the Preferred Option?

    There are a few reasons why more and more Indians are gambling online instead. The improved internet infrastructure of the country plays an important role as well as the rising population of mobile users. India is a mobile country with over 1.8 billion mobile users. More than 744 million of them are then going online with their mobile devices.

    We can also expect that more people will get into online gaming and gambling including live casino gaming once 5G connection is more widespread in the country. It is expected that more places in India will have 5G connections available this year. With that, people will be more comfortable playing games with their mobile devices.

    This is why many online gambling companies are starting to focus more on the mobile market. The most popular casino and betting companies in India now have apps that people can download. If they don’t have an app yet, they make sure that their sites are optimized for mobile web browsers as well. Many online casinos are also offering hard to resist bonuses to mobile app users.

    Online gambling will likely gain more popularity in India in the next few years. This is why there have been calls to regulate the industry instead. This way, local gamblers will also be protected by the government and local laws. While it’s generally safe to trust reputable online casinos today, there will always be risks that come with gaming on offshore casino sites. Surely, regulating the industry could help fix this.

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