Is Betting Legal in India?

Indians are known for their love for sports, with cricket and football topping the list of the most popular games in the country. Naturally, the love for sports goes hand-in-hand with punting, and residents of the country spend millions of Rupees on betting activities every day. In fact, industry experts suggest that the Indian sports betting market could be worth over $130 billion annually. But is betting legal in India?

Let’s take a look at the state of regulated sports betting in the country and where to find legal sportsbooks for Indian bettors.

The legality of Online Sports Betting in India 

The history of sports betting in India goes way back to the 18th Century when cricket was introduced in the country by Europeans. However, legal gambling was short-lived as the British took over the territory and declared various forms of wagering in 1867. These included rummy, horse racing, and lottery games.

The country gained its independence in 1947 but the government did not make any moves to legalize gambling activities at the federal level. Instead, individual states were given the right to legislate and make policies regarding betting and gambling in their jurisdictions. The states of Daman, Goa, and Sikkim have taken advantage of this right to allow land-based casinos. Sikkim also allows online gambling. 

The issue of sports betting, on the other hand, is largely considered a grey area in India. None of the 29 states in the nation has passed laws to permit and regulate the market, so you can’t find any land-based sportsbooks across the country.

However, it is not rare to find scores of international bookies targeting Indian bettors, and millions of players place wagers on these sites every day. While they are not licensed in the country, the Indian government is yet to pass a law that explicitly prohibits betting on offshore websites, and no citizen of the country has been prosecuted for using their services. 

Legal Online Sportsbooks for Indian Players 

As we have already mentioned, there are loads of international betting sites that accept sports wagers from Indian players. These are big companies that are licensed and regulated in countries like Malta and Curacao.

The regulating authorities in these jurisdictions are very strict about customer protection, the security of the platforms, and fairness, so you should not be worried about your safety when placing bets on the websites. What’s more, a majority of the websites accept payments in Indian Rupees, which means that you don’t have to stress over currency conversion. Some operators are even taking the experience a notch higher by providing wagering in the Hindi language. 

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Available Sports Markets for Indian Bettors 

The list of sports markets featured on legal betting sites in India is quite extensive. The mainstream sports like soccer, cricket, tennis, baseball, American football, basketball, Ice Hockey, horse racing and golf are well covered, and they also feature odds on lesser popular games like snooker and darts. Fans of virtual sports are also well catered to as the genre enjoys extensive coverage on a majority of the websites.

Frequently Asked Questions about Gambling Laws in India

Is it legal to bet online in India?

You can gamble online in India from anywhere apart from the state of Maharashtra.

Will the government ever legalise betting in India?

Quite possibly, but at this stage nobody is quite sure. If the Government of India were especially against online gambling we think they would have stepped in and made it illegal already. So that is a good sign for us and punters alike. We believe it’s fairly likely they will make the activity of online betting legal, therefore enabling them to tax international betting sites.

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