It is perhaps the worst kept secret in the world that people in India bet on cricket. Children bet on cricket, adults bet on cricket, everyone who follows the game bets on cricket. A small percentage of these people eventually start to bet online and take things a bit more seriously.
Even cricketers bet on cricket as we have found out all too often! There is a difference between just betting on cricket and actually fixing matches, though, which is something that the cricket-loving public seems to forget. Deniss Lille ended up making a pretty penny by betting against his own team at the famous Ashes test held in Headingly when Ian Botham delivered a miraculous come from behind victory for England but that was never held against him.
But is it fair to say that online betting in India is just about cricket? We don’t think so.
While cricket continues to be the biggest sport in India, there are a number of other sports that are followed very closely. Kabaddi, for example, has adopted a new professional structure with high-salaries and a wonderfully produced tournament which has brought in lakhs of new viewers to the game.
The Pro Kabaddi League is covered by all major sportsbooks that are operating in or targeting India.
Similarly, there are a lot of other sports like Tennis, Badminton, Table-Tennis, or Hockey that have their own loyal following. People that follow sports like to bet on the outcome and so it is wrong to assume that betting in India is just about one sport.
Another factor that has helped a lot of Indians discover online betting in India is the rise of fantasy sports apps like Dream11. These apps are thinly disguised ways of legalizing betting in India.
The companies claim that they are sports of skill and not of chance, which is something we find very amusing. In fact, we believe that people stand a much better chance of winning when they are betting on just one outcome rather than the performances of eleven players!
The stigma around betting or lotteries in India is from an ancient time. Our society has evolved and we now have very different views than what our previous generations did. Archaic laws are not only preventing the government from cashing in on a massive tax source but also giving rise to the underbelly of illegal gambling.
Accept that gambling in India is not just because of cricket or just limited to seedy elements of society and move to regularize it. We think it is clear that the appetite for gambling in India is not diminishing or going away on its own. It is better if the government actually steps in and allows professional betting companies to enhance the experience for everyone involved.