Many gambling activities in India are heavily regulated. However, the laws that are in place are outdated and do not specifically address online gambling. Online gambling is becoming very popular in the country as it provides access to a lot more gambling choices. Plus, bettors in India can access these sites from anywhere they want including from the comfort of their homes. In this article, we will take a look at five things you should know about online gambling in India.
India’s Sports Market Is Huge
The sports market in India is massive. It is considered one of the largest in the world. The most popular sport in India is cricket followed closely by soccer. Other sporting events enjoyed by Indians include tennis, field hockey, boxing, badminton, and local regional sports like kabaddi. Indian athletes are as popular as the sports they participate in. For example, cricket players Virat Kohl and MS Dhoni have huge fan bases on social media numbering millions of followers. Because cricket is such a popular sporting activity in India, it makes sense that it is also the most popular event in sports betting. India-based online sporting sites understand the attention cricket receives and respond by posting regular standings, live scores, and betting tips. See the LuckyDice gambling guide for more information.
The Internet Is Exploding In India
Although the overall penetration of the internet in India is still quite low, the number of users continues to grow rapidly each year. Internet and mobile phone usage is estimated at just 45% in India at this point, but in recent years, the number of users has increased by 60 million annually. This trend also appears in social media. India’s use of social media is at just 23%, which is far below the global figure of 45% but it is growing faster in India than anywhere else in the world. This opens doors of opportunity for online gambling ventures and already there is activity on that front. Foreign online casino operators aggressively market their products to the Indian audience and even accept the local currency at their gambling sites. Some sites are also in Hindi to reach this growing market.
India’s Population Is A Bonus
There are over a billion people in India. Of that total, 826 million of them are in the age group of 18 to 64 years. This is a valuable demographic to market to and with e-commerce penetration in India hovering at just 28%, there is a great deal of potential with lots of room to grow. Studies have shown that close to 23 million Indians have the financial ability to afford to gamble regularly and that shows promise for developing game platforms and e-commerce sites as the market is there to tap into. With Western culture in the form of online casinos and sports betting attracting Indian gamblers, it isn’t much of a leap to speculate that India is going to see a lot more of these types of ventures appearing in the not too distant future.
The Gaming Market Is Ripe
Gaming companies are only just starting to notice India. Typically, when a gaming company develops a product, they aim to release them in traditional locations where success can happen faster. What this does is it leaves out many emerging markets that have a population base but are not normally the targets used. Gaming companies are noticing the numbers and gambling interest in places like India. The list of new, potential markets is long and includes parts of Latin America (Brazil, Chile, Columbia, and Peru), and European countries such as Croatia and Portugal. India is now on that list of new markets gaming companies are exploring with their new products. This could prove to change how gaming companies view the global market.
Regulators Taking On Online Gambling
Gambling, in general, is heavily regulated in India. The first piece of legislation that became law was dated 1867. That document defined a place of gambling and made it illegal for anyone to establish a gambling site or to use one. Nearly a century later another piece of legislation was passed. It dictated the size of cash prizes that could be won through puzzle-based gaming activity. The third law, which was passed in 2000, covered what was supposed to be all other forms of gambling, but the wording was too vague. Online gambling was not specifically mentioned and has fallen through the cracks. Where this could change is if the Government of India focuses attention on banning internet gambling activity. That has not happened yet but exists as a possibility.
Where India Is Today
Faster internet, more interest in casino gambling online, and an exploding sports betting market put the spotlight on India for massive expansion. There are few land-based casinos in the country and only a handful of provinces and territories in India support this form of gambling. Foreign online casino operators see the potential and reach out to the Indian population daily with attractive offers and bonuses at their gambling sites. With little competition from within India, but millions of Indian gamblers seeking opportunities to play games of chance, the internet will keep playing a huge role in the evolution of gambling in India.
There is a lot more to India than cricket and soccer. The Indian population has discovered the excitement of online gambling and could end up a world leader in internet wagering activity. The population base is there, as is the internet, and the interest. The only hurdle that could prove to be problematic is the way lawmakers treat gambling online. Sure, at this point there is a huge gap in regulations allowing online gambling to sit in a grey area but that won’t be the situation forever. Unless lawmakers begin to see the financial benefits that potentially exist with online gambling, there could be strict controls put in place to ban the activity. Foreign online casino operators are already tapping into the market. Maybe the Indian government could learn something from this example and move forward instead of backward.