What’s the Legal Status of the Sports Betting Regulations in India?

Sports betting has been a popular pastime in many countries for years. Even though it is a form of gambling, sports betting requires a lot more knowledge than most casino games. For many people, sports betting is all about placing a bet on the outcome of a sporting event. However, bookmakers offer plenty of other betting opportunities. People can wager their money not only on athletic contests but also on politics, TV shows, and non-human races. 

Many countries that frowned upon gambling in the past, have changed their attitude toward this pastime, realizing that it brings economic benefits. India is among the most populous countries in the world. Experts believe that India has the potential to become the biggest betting market because a growing number of Indians engage in betting activities.

Legal Status of the Sports Betting Regulations in India
Legal Status of the Sports Betting Regulations in India

 The driving force of the rise of sports betting in India is the increasing number of smartphone users. Hence, most online sportsbooks geared toward the Indian market are optimized for mobile use. Another factor that stimulates the growth of the betting industry is India’s love for cricket. No other nation is more fond of cricket than Indians. Soccer is another beloved sport among Indians, attracting massive betting action. 

Is Sport Betting Legal in India?

Even though many online sportsbooks accept punters from India and even support the county’s official currency – Indian Rupee, sports betting exists in a gray area. Indian sports fans have unlimited access to various offshore bookies where they can place bets on a myriad of sporting events. The sports betting regulation in India is archaic and fail to make it clear whether online sports betting is legal or not. 

The main piece of legislation that regulates gambling in India is the Public Gaming Act of 1867. But at the time the law was passed, the Internet was not invented yet. Therefore, this law does not define the legality of Internet gambling and sports betting.

In 2000, Indian lawmakers ratified the Information Technology Act. Under the law, intermediaries are not allowed to transmit gambling-related content. But the law again does not mention anything about online sports betting, and offshore bookies did not miss the opportunity to benefit from this loophole. 

According to Indian law, games fall into two categories – games of chance and games of skills, and only the latter is deemed lawful. But sports betting combines an element of skill and luck, and that is where the confusion comes from. In the eyes of the law, horse racing betting requires prior knowledge, so it is the only legal form of sports betting. Whether other forms of sports betting are skill-based is still pending before the Supreme Court in the case of Greeta Rani.

To make things even more complex, the Constitution of India gave the different states the power to create their own gambling and betting laws. At the moment, Goa, Sikkim, and Daman are the three Indian states that have regulated different forms of gambling. However, only the State of Sikkim legalized sports betting. Operators who want to provide sports betting services in the state have to apply for a license. 

The Future of Sports Betting in India

Even though only Sikkim legalized online sports betting, the industry shows no signs of slowing down. India has the world’s largest youth population, and it is a matter of fact that young people often use smartphones and tablets for Internet surfing. That is one of the reasons behind the exponential growth of online sports betting throughout the country. Let’s not forget that sport is an essential aspect of the social and cultural life of Indian people. 

The country has to revamp its gambling and betting laws to adequately respond to the demands of Indian sports fans. What is more, a regulated gambling and betting industry will result in economic growth through tax revenues. Proper regulations will also protect sports fans from rogue bookmakers.

(Note: In case of any doubt, TheYouth does not provoke or motivate or rncourage any of its readers to play games such as betting. It is only an informative article based on information collected from online sources. neither do we motivate to click any of the links on this web page or site. You can play the game only if it is legally allowed in your country/state and only if you and your age are considered okay in the eyes of laws. It must be noted such games involve both monetary losses and gains. Either you win or lose, TheYouth shall not be responsible under any circumstances.)