Summary:Online gambling in India is a huge industry, and is expected to grow by 41% over the years 2020-24. Here is a rigorous breakdown of the trends that are being exhibited by this steadily growing industry. Some predictions have also been made.
By the year 2025, India is going to have more than 900 million internet users, according to a recent study published in the Economic Times. That’s why it’s not a surprise when you find out that India has the potential to become the largest online gambling market in the world. In recent years, the Indian economy has witnessed an upsurge in the number of people who take part in gambling activities online. Since the regulation of the Indian online gambling scene is complex and difficult to understand, it’s a good idea to do a thorough dissection of the industry today.
Loopholes in the Information Technology Act (2000)
Online gambling in India is not technically illegal, due to a loophole found in the Information Technology Act of 2000. The IT Act spells out all the legal and illegal activities that can be carried out via the internet. The law does not mention online gambling anywhere, which is why it is technically legal to engage in gambling from India. However, it is explicitly against the law to participate in gambling online in the states of Maharashtra, Telangana, and Andhra Pradesh. Despite restrictions, the illegal online gambling industry there is growing quite rapidly.
Areas Where Gambling is Explicitly Legal in India
The states of Sikkim and Goa, and the union territory of Daman, are the only areas in India that allow gambling explicitly. Sikkim and Goa, for example, are tiny states that are active tourist destinations. Goa receives 7.1 million domestic tourists on average, and at least 1 million foreign tourists every year. Similarly, the state of Sikkim is visited by 1 million domestic tourists and at least 0.1 million foreign tourists annually. This is the main reason why these states have an active gambling industry with multiple land-based casino locations.
Sikkim also happens to be the only state in India that provides a legal avenue of online gambling. The state government launched an online lottery platform a few years ago, which can definitely be counted as a form of online gambling. This lottery is open to all Indian citizens and is one of the only domestic forms of online gambling. In 2010, Sikkim did try to grant online gambling licenses to operators in the region. However, this measure fell through and the legislation did not manage to see the light of day. Sikkim allows blackjack, baccarat, roulette, keno, sports, etc.
Recent Trends in the Indian Online Gambling Industry
Now is a good time to review the various trends in the online gambling industry of India from a statistical perspective. According to Statista, there were more than 260 million online gamblers who claimed to originate from India. According to trends, this number is only going to grow year after year. In fact, a recent predictive analysis study shows that online gambling in India is expected to grow by 41% until the year 2025. Deloitte also stands by these claims, and states that the industry will be worth $2.8 billion shortly.
This is actually not that surprising, especially after considering that Indians make up 15% of the total online gambling traffic worldwide. After land casinos were closed all over the world from the end of 2019, online casinos made a comeback. Contrary to expectations, 2020 was one of the best years for the online gambling industry as a whole. India and Indian gamblers make up a very significant portion of the online gambling industry, and it is safe to assume that the industry localized in India will grow larger very soon. Lots of Indian youth enthusiastically take part in online gambling.
Sports Wagering Is Very Popular in India
Just like online casinos, there are no specific laws that outright prohibits sports betting in India. Indians are free to look up offshore sportsbooks and place wagers as they like. In fact, Indians are very fond of sports wagering and daily fantasy sports. Cricket is the national pastime of the country, and that is why sports betting soars during the Indian Premier League (IPL) season. In fact, one of the IPL highlights you should know about is the rise of sports wagering. Here are some of the special sports wagering facts about India.
- Cricket betting is the most popular sports wager in the country. In fact, after legal providers of DFS such as Dream11 and MPL were announced – thousands of users signed up and played for real money. The IPL season and ICC tournaments are the most popular periods for making cricket wagers.
- There has been a study which shows that 40% of Indians with access to computers and internet connectivity make regular visits to gambling websites. Apart from lotto and horse racing, cricket betting is the overwhelmingly popular choice. As expected, most of the participants hail from urban and densely populated areas.
The Popularity of Online Gambling Will Led to Better Regulation
One of the biggest and most optimistic declarations that one can make about the gambling industry in India is regarding its future. Given the recent increase in popularity, there is a distinct chance that better regulation and legalization will come into play. States will realize that they have nothing to lose from banning legalized betting. They will legalize the affairs and set up regulated and safe platforms that one can use. Doing so will also increase the revenue that the states will get. License fees are also an earning opportunity.
Summing Up the Facts
This has been a comprehensive dissection of the trends exhibited by the online gambling industry in India. Sports wagering at sites like IndiBet is on the rise, as is participation in classic table games like roulette and blackjack. Of course, over the years, there are hopes that the increase in popularity will lead to better reforms.