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What’s it Like to Bet on Sports in India?

Few nations are known for having such an avid national sports fan base as India. Particularly when it comes to international cricket matches, stadiums are filled with people, cheering, music, and bright blue shirts, regardless of where the match itself is being held. In other big sports countries, another industry has run alongside sports for decades, bringing entertainment to the masses and tax revenues to the governments.

Sports betting is simply the formalised business of offering odds on outcomes of games, events, and plays, and then paying out on those who have bet correctly on those odds. It took the tradition of two sports fans giving their opinions of what’s to come into a viable and popular business. Now, in its online form, sports betting has arrived in the vast nation of India, ready to deliver its service to hundreds of millions of fans.

What’s the legal state of online betting in India?


There are two key statutes to consider when examining the legal state of online betting in India. The first is the Public Gambling Act 1867, which prohibits anyone from running a public gambling house in India. Immediately, you’ll note how long ago this act was brought into power, with it still not having been adapted to the modern times of international online gambling. The second is a much more recent, the Information Technology Act 2000, which doesn’t offer rules for gambling or betting: Indian courts have also refused to examine further.

As such, what this means for the hundreds of millions of potential sports bettors in India is that you can use foreign sites without any real risk. Naturally, without India directly regulating the industry, some will refuse, but others have found that many of the most well-respected international brands are present in India. Unless the laws change drastically at the national and state level, it’s very unlikely that the betting scene will change. As it stands, only Sikkim has directly enacted a law that would issue an Indian online betting licence, while Maharashtra has actively banned online gambling under the Bombay Wager Act.

How can you move money in and out of an Indian betting account?


Whenever an online-based brand has sought to open to the vast subcontinent, one of the biggest blocks to overcome has been that of moving money. For a long time, much of India’s population didn’t have access to banking, in-house or otherwise. In 2016, the government decided to change this, effectively forcing the adoption of digital money and, subsequently, democratising finance for the growing, internet-connected population. Now, China and India combine to form the 70 percent bulk of global eWallet users, exceeding 2 billion users between them.

That said, the number of Indians with an official bank account has also shot up in this time, surging from around 50 percent of the population in 2014 to a mighty 80 percent by 2017. Betting sites have identified these trends, adopting eWallets like Skrill, Neteller, and PayPal as deposit and withdrawal options, as well as the standard debit and credit cards. Thinking further, the top sites allow for payments to operate in Indian rupees, and some even allow for the use of cryptocurrencies.

What are the most important factors for a top Indian betting site?

Just because the industry isn’t officially regulated by a national governing body, doesn’t mean that the expectations of Indian bettors should be lower than anywhere else in the world. As it’s international brands offering their services to India, you should expect them to uphold the standards of their licensing elsewhere. For example, those that carry the approval stamp of the UK Gambling Commission, you know that they’re closely regulated and adhere to strict rules to keep their licence.

These fully licensed sites can guarantee your security online, but there are several other aspects that make a good betting site in India. The quality of the app is essential here, primarily because peoples’ main access to the internet is via smartphones. Furthermore, sites are rated per their standing reputation as a brand for players, the bonuses and promotions that are run, and, of course, the quality of the odds. If the odds aren’t at least competitive with other betting sites, they’re offering much less value for your money.

How do you place a bet in India?

Bookmakers moving online, and then to mobile, has made betting much easier and far more streamlined than ever before. The process of placing a bet in India is simple, but first, you’ll want to pick one of the best online bookies for India in 2021. Once you’ve picked your platform, sign-up, deposit some money, and then check out the sports listings of odds. After you’ve found the outcome that you want to back, tap on the odds button, go to the bet slip – usually along the bottom of the screen – type in your stake, and then submit the bet.

Which sports are attracting Indian bettors?


It might be the obvious point, but cricket boasts even more appeal to bettors than any onlooker could possibly imagine. The sport is so entrenched in the culture, with the quality of the game at all levels right now producing very bettor-friendly odds splits. In the IPL, every team has several x-factor players who can upset the odds and swing a game at any moment, as Jofra Archer did en route to becoming the most valuable player last year.

Beyond cricket, the world’s most popular sport, football, also boasts a strong following in India, particularly the major European leagues. There’s also been a resurgence of a local favourite, kabaddi, which is being propelled back into the mainstream thanks to the superb entertainment package of the Pro Kabaddi League. Also available in betting circles is the surging new sport of professional competitive gaming, eSports. In India alone, eSports doubled in viewership last year, climbing to 17 million, while the prize pools increased by up to 30 percent.

Given the number of people, the increasing connectivity to the internet, and the national love of several sports, it shouldn’t come as a surprise that highly-rated international betting sites are picking up steam in India.

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