Online Gambling Is Growing in India
Online Gambling Is Growing in India
Over the last decade, the Indian online gambling market has seen an impressive amount of growth and is now attracting both operators and developers, thanks to its lucrative stance.
With millions choosing to play on gambling sites and apps registered in India, the market has stepped into the limelight.
Now, key questions are being asked of the legality surrounding the country’s gambling industry.
Real money games are still very much a gray area in India. While most countries introduce a cover-all of regulations when legalizing gambling both online and off, Indian authorities view poker, sports betting, and casinos as games that need to be addressed separately.
For example, while betting and casino games are considered games of luck, poker is seen as a skill. Because of this, lawmakers are technically banned from disrupting or interfering with poker games conducted its clubs, backed by the Calcutta High Court. The laws on gambling, in general, haven’t been updated in a long while, however; the current regulatory framework in use in India dates back to the Public Gambling Act of 1867.
With that considered, it’s no surprise the country is yet to introduce regulations for new online casinos or, in fact, any online gambling at all. There are no laws legalizing online casinos, but at the same time, none which deem them illegal either. Because of this, the Indian gambling market (both online and land resort) is estimated to make around $60 billion per year, around half of which is technically through ‘illegal’ betting. To put that figure into perspective, the global online gambling market is predicted to rise to a value of $95 billion by 2024.
The only places where gambling prohibitions are actually enforced are J&K, Madhya Pradesh, Kerala, Sikkim, and Assam, where police raids on underground gambling gangs are not unheard of.
What does that mean?
To cut a long story short, India’s lack of gambling regulations means online gambling operators can offer their services to Indian players without the risk of penalties. Some Western players are also free to enjoy gambling establishments available internationally.
Online gambling is convenient in India
The 2014 digital revolution in India means the country is now technologically pretty much on par with most developed countries, meaning players in India can now easily access online gambling from almost anywhere on most devices. By 2018, India’s mobile market has shipped out 46.6 million smartphone devices, increasing overall technology revenue by 19%.
Now, residents can very easily enjoy all the benefits of online shopping, social media, and movies, from their smartphones, tablets, and desktops.
The availability of on-the-go play including live-dealer games and online slots means Indian online casinos are now raking in the cash more than ever before.
Gambling festivals increase revenue
Festivals times often co-exist with a surge in the number of people gambling in India. Over holidays such as Deepawali and Holi, gambling operators usually see an increase in revenue of around 30 to 40%.
Many professionals and online forums based in India have urged the government to introduce regulation, as it is feared illegal revenue is being used to fund terrorism and drugs.
Although the market is growing, India is estimated to be losing out on up to $1.5 billion in annual revenue by remaining unregulated - and the slow pace of the country’s government means very little is set to change for at least another five years.
However, Digital India, a flagship government-supported program, is pushing on to make the country even more digitally focused, which could drastically improve the online entertainment sector.
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