The gambling industry in India is still in its infancy even though sports betting and casino gaming activities have been enjoyed by Indian players for a while. India has a population of over 1.3 billion people. Indians are not only huge fans of Bollywood movies and cricket but also sports betting even though the legality of engaging in such activities varies from one state to another. Several years back, it was almost impossible to find an online sports betting site catering to sports bettors from India.
At the time, internet penetration rates in India were quite low. In other words, not many Indians used devices connected to the Internet. Fortunately, long gone are those days of rather slow modems. Another reason why not many sports betting sites catered to Indians several years ago was the cost of PCs, smartphones, and other devices. While certain products are still very expensive, more Indians have mobile devices. Therefore, more Indians have access to online sports betting sites.
Online Sports Betting Sites in India
While India is home to a thriving online sports betting industry, its iGaming industry is far from being mature as iGaming industries in Europe. At the same time, many renowned international online sports betting sites operate in the country, and one of these is a well-respected bet365. Indian players can wager on various sports at other legally operating sites as well.
When it comes to the legality of sports betting in India, according to the main piece of legislation, the Public Gambling Act that has been in force since 1867, all gambling forms including online sports betting are illegal. You would think that Indian players cannot legally engage in online sports betting activities according to this law, but things are not that simple. Indian legislators decided to complicated things more by making a distinction between games of chance and games of skill.
More specifically, players residing in India cannot place real money wagers on games of chance, but they can place real money wagers on games of skill. At the same time, horse race betting and lotteries legally operate in the country. While the Public Gambling Act 1867 does not make it crystal clear, online sports betting activities in certain Indian states are legal. Some Indian states have their own laws and regulations concerning online sports betting as gambling in the country is a state subject.
Which Indian States Allow Sports Betting?
Since gambling in the country is a state subject, Indian states have the right to formulate their won sports betting and gambling laws. The Indian state of Sikkim is home to the most thriving sports betting industry. It is rather open towards other online and land-based gambling activities.
The state of Sikkim, which has been heavily battling against the Covid-19 pandemic recently, has several land-based casinos and a couple of lotteries owned by the state. Floating casinos operate legally in the state of Goa. Online sports betting activities are also legal in the state of Goa. Sports betting sites also legally operate in the state of Daman.