Gambling is not a new phenomenon in India. It’s mentioned in the Ramayana which is one of two major Sanskrit epics that originate in ancient India. Despite a legal landscape that does not favour most gambling, it’s still popular in India today with many Indian people choosing to spend money at online casinos and sportsbooks.
This has led to the online gambling sector in the country being worth an estimated $60 billion at present. That is a large amount of money. So, what has led to such significant growth in the online gambling market, and more specifically the online sportsbook market, in India?
The legal reasons why online sportsbooks are popular
Let’s start by looking at the legality of the sports betting market in India and how that has helped online sportsbooks to grow in popularity. When it comes to betting, horse racing is the only major sport where legal betting is permitted across India. It’s not surprising that there is a legal betting market for horse racing given it’s huge popularity in India which can be seen from the number of top-class racecourses that exist.
However, betting on other popular sports like cricket is outlawed in all parts of the country except for the states of Goa and Sikkim where the rules are different. This ban on sports betting came as the result of the Public Gambling Act, 1867. However, the Internet was not even thought about at that time, so the act does not specifically cover online sportsbooks. So, this is a grey area of online sports betting that many keen sports bettors take advantage of. They place bets at reputable sportsbooks that are based in other countries but offer their services to people in India.
Online sportsbooks appealing straight to the Indian market
Given the growing popularity of online sports betting in India, it’s not surprising that well-known brands like Jeetwin are tailoring their services in order to become the favoured brand in the Indian market. They are doing this by appealing directly to Indian people. This includes allowing Indian bettors to use their own currency when placing a bet.
It’s likely that offshore betting providers will continue to provide secure sports betting in India for the foreseeable future. There is also a possibility that the Indian government will change its stance on sports betting and legalise the industry within India. If this happens, it will open the door for online sportsbooks to operate within the country.
However, despite efforts to legalise sports betting in the country being made, there has been no real advancement to date. So, right now, offshore sportsbooks are reaping the rewards of the growing interest in sports betting in India by providing a service to bettors. There is a lot of competition in the area so people in India are likely to benefit from services and promotions that are tailored to them in order for brands to gain a significant share of the market.