From time immemorial, betting has been regarded as a sinful or immoral act. However, it isn’t always that bad as many countries have legalised betting. As it turns out, the legalisation of gambling is beneficial to the economy, just as it is to bettors.
In recent times, sports betting has become a widely acclaimed source of income all over the world. It has expanded to the extent that besides staking on various sports, bookmakers offer bets on events from the entertainment industry and politics.
Undoubtedly, staking on the possible outcome of sporting events is also deeply rooted in India, the second most populous nation in the globe. As far as the legality of this lucrative industry is concerned, not everything is crystal clear.
This write-up takes a critical view into the legal status of sports betting in India, the related pieces of legislation, and the expectations for this lucrative economic sector.
General view of Sports Betting in India
With the necessary access to technology, a wide range of our population have computers and mobile devices equipped with high-speed internet. A good variety of bookmakers are offering various promotional incentives, targeting new customers from India.
Having in mind that a great portion of India middle-class population loves to gamble, the potential of the industry is massive. We should not forget about our passion for cricket (can’t be seen anywhere else in the world) and the great number of unauthorised bets placed on the Indian Premier League every year.
Besides cricket, certain Indian sports supporters are passionate about football. Other popular areas to bet on include tennis, basketball, horse racing, badminton, and more.
Legal Status of Sports Betting in India
With no iota of doubt, the laws and regulations regarding to sports betting in India can be safely said to be quite ambiguous. As it is, it could be pretty hard to find any indigenous bookmaker operating from India.
Advocates of legalizing sports betting in India claim that it would make a great impact on the country’s economy. Instead of directing a large amount of money from bettors to foreign operators, they advise that laws should be updated, with respect to present-day market sentiments.
Sports Betting Laws in India
After series of research, the most important piece of legislation in India relating to sports betting and gambling is found to be the outdated Public Gambling Act of 1867. According to it, all forms of gambling are illegal. Online sports betting is technically not banned by any particular law in India.
However, certain provisions make a case between games of chance and games of skill. This introduces uncertainty in the law governing sports betting in India.
Another consideration that has been established is that there are no federal restrictions in India when it comes to the betting industry, and the rules and regulations are determined by each state.
For instance, the state of Sikkim is famous for its more liberal stance on gambling and sports betting, with casinos and lotteries operating on its territory. The State of Goa could boast of a thriving tourism boom as a result of several floating casinos. Well, other states across India have adopted a more conservative approach to the establishment of gambling venues.
Legal experts argue that digital sports betting venues are not illegal in India in the absence of a comprehensive regulatory system or Federal official governing authorities.
All in all, the Indian government is expected to draft new laws that would regulate the betting sector and generate tax revenue. The legalisation of sports betting would also enhance employment opportunities. Undoubtedly, there are more benefits/gains that India and Indians would enjoy from standard sports betting and gambling regulations.