Why Is Sports Betting on the Rise in India?

Mention the words gambling and you are most likely to conjure up images of the Las Vegas strip. A city known for bright neon lights accompanied by the sound of slot machines hoovering up quarters from players from all around the world. You rarely think of the sub-continent and in particular of India when it comes to online betting. However, the last few years have seen online cricket betting being taken up by more and more Indians.

What was once considered taboo and subject to stringent rules and regulations is now seeing a general acceptance from both the government and the public. In this article we take a look at three main reasons that have led to the resurgence of online cricket betting in India that have given rise to sites such as

Cricket betting is most likely to become legalised


Online betting in India is governed by the Public Act of 1867. As per the act all activities involving gambling are banned. Those that are caught in the act of gambling are subject to an initial fine and then jail term. However, over the years the government has placed the onus on the individual states to decide the fate of gambling in their jurisdiction. States such as Kerala and Goa have welcomed online gambling with open arms and are therefore enjoying the extra revenue generation brought by these activities.

On the flip side you do have states such as Karnataka that have a zero-tolerance policy when it comes to all forms of betting. Having said that, the meteoric rise of online gamblers in India is a sign that the country might be on its way to legalising sports betting in the future. It will be the right move for sure. At present when you think of gambling in India, you think of seedy gambling dens with all sorts of nefarious activities taking place. The revenue that is collected from the establishments if we can even call them is not taxed and therefore is not helping the country in any shape or form. Worst is the fact that the revenue is being used to fund a whole slew of illegal activities such as money laundering and acts of terrorism.


Countries such as UK, Sweden and now Germany are proof of the fact that legalising of gambling is a good thing for the country. The money generated can be used for the betterment of the country and more importantly citizens can be educated on both the positive and negative aspects of betting. Adverts can be run freely on television not only promoting gambling but promoting safe and responsible gambling. Helplines and centres can be created for those that are suffering from gambling addiction.

These punters can be supported so they can turn their life around rather than being considered as a burden on society which further drains the resources of the country. It is increasingly important in India where certain sports such as horse racing are legal when it comes to betting whereas their biggest sport, cricket is not. How one can consider horse racing a game of skill and placing bets on cricket a game of chance is beyond us. There are so many variables that one can study in cricket to make educated guesses on the outcome of the match, series and tournament. The current state of the Indian team in the T20 World Cup is a classic example of how one could’ve predicted their performance and thus made good bets based on it.

Rise of Smartphones in India


Another major reason for the increase in betting activities relates to the falling prices of smartphones in India. A decade ago, if you were to place a bet on cricket in India, you would have to either do it on your desktop or visit an internet café. Both places meant that you were never truly alone when you were placing bets on your favourite matches.

With the falling prices of smartphones and the variety of handsets means you can now place a bet in private. This can be done at home, in the office or even on the train on the way to work. Cricket betting sites such as are capitalising on this trend and are providing customers with mobile optimised sites to make the art of placing a bet as simple as possible. With more and more Indians choosing to spend time on the phones, it comes as no surprise that betting related activities will be on the rise as well.

Cricket and other sports continue to increase in popularity


Cricket in India is akin to religion. People from all walks of life, all age groups play and watch cricket. Cricket is played in cramped streets, alleyways to fancy stadiums with all the facilities. Cricket is in the blood of every Indian man or woman, and it is unlikely that this will change in the future. This is especially true when you consider how successful the Indian Premier League (IPL) has become.

Starting from humble beginnings, the tournament has morphed into an entertainment juggernaut that attracts billions of viewers from around the globe. Similarly sponsors queue up to be able to promote their brands during these two weeks. However, cricket is not the only sport that is on the mind of every Indian, football has become increasingly popular as well. With streaming services such as Youtube showcasing the talents of footballers from different countries and clubs, Indians are now following this sport more than ever.

With more sports they follow, the more opportunities they get to place bets on their favourite matches. Once IPL finishes, Indians now have options to place bets on the English Premier League or La Liga meaning there is always some game taking place at any given time where they can place bets on.

In summary, sports betting is here to stay in India and it is the interest of all involved to legalise the activity as it is expected to become even bigger in the future.

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