With India’s love for sports like cricket, it’s not surprising that it is paired up with gambling which is another form of entertainment that Indians love. Sports betting has been gaining more and more popularity in India over the last years and there are a few factors why this is happening.
While India is quite strict when it comes to gambling activities, people here are still able to place their bets on any sports event. This is thanks to online betting sites that are listed on bettingsites24.in. The Public Gaming Act of 1867 and the Information Technology Act of 2000 both have no mention of any online gambling activities and this is why it’s neither legal nor illegal.
As long as an online operator isn’t operating within India and they allow transactions with the local currency, they can offer their services to the locals. Today, Indians have access to hundreds of sportsbooks that are based offshore. Some of the most popular betting sites here today are 10CRIC, Betway, Parimatch, Bet365, and 22Bet.
India’s Sports Betting Industry in Numbers
It is estimated that the Indian gambling industry as a whole is worth over 60 billion USD. However, half of this amount is from the underground market. There is no official data or statistics on how big the sports betting market is in the country and this is mainly because the industry is unregulated.
However, there are still platforms that estimate how much the sports betting industry is doing. MyBetting reported last year that the market is growing at least 20 percent each year. This is especially now that more Indians can access the internet and have more disposable incomes.
Based on this report, around 370 million Indians would place bets on major sports events. 140 million people would then place bets regularly. Without any surprise, the most popular sport that Indians bet on is cricket. This is why betting sites are usually flooded by punters every time events like the Indian Premier League, T20 World Cup, and The Ashes Series are on. Aside from cricket, Indian also enjoy betting on horse racing, football, and field hockey.
While online betting is not determined illegal by the national law, some states have imposed a ban on this activity like Telangana and Karnataka. However, this doesn’t seem to stop the locals from betting because MyBetting also reported that the states with the most punters in the country are Telangana (18.7%), Karnataka (13.2%), and Maharashtra (9.6%).
The majority of the Indian punters are men which is at 88.4 percent and the rest are women with 11.6%. When it comes to age, 44.6 percent of the punters are aged 18 to 24 years old. Meanwhile, 32.5 percent are aged between 25 and 34. The age groups of 35 to 44, 45 to 55, and above 55 years are all less than 10 percent respectively.
ENV also reported an estimate of how much is wagered by the locals for a cricket ODI match. According to them, bets placed each time the national cricket team plays an ODI amount to around 200 million USD. If this is combined with how much people bet throughout the year, including the League season and other international tours or tournaments, people are betting a total of 150 billion USD each year.
What’s in Store?
The main reason why sports betting is a hit in the country may be India’s love for sports but other factors like the improved internet structure of the country and the rise of the number of online people are also significant.
It is estimated that India has over 749 million internet users and 744 million of them are going online with their mobile devices. This is why many online sportsbooks are starting to shift their focus to the mobile market. With that, many are pointing out that the future of sports betting is mobile. This is not only in India but also around the world.
When it comes to where India is heading concerning regulating the activity, it’s hard to tell at the moment. While it is a popular activity, states like Telangana and Karnataka are taking a step back. Only time can tell if other states will follow their footprints when it comes to this matter. However, many are hoping that it wouldn’t be the case. There is still a possibility that India would instead go the route that countries like the UK have taken: regulating an extremely popular activity instead of prohibiting it.