A brief look into the Indian online gambling industry
At the moment, the hottest topic within the online gambling industry is India, and how to conquer the giant casino and betting market in the east.
The Indian online gambling industry is massive, with millions of people betting on sports, playing casino games and participating in the state lotteries. However, as the Indian gambling laws don’t cover online gambling, most of the European betting and casino sites are now targeting the country, even though the market really is a grey zone when it comes to real money games of chance.
Still, it’s not that easy wrapping your the current status of the Indian online gambling market.
In this article, we will sort out the rumors from the facts, and look into the future expansion of one of the biggest gambling industries in the world.
Poker, Casino and Sports Betting are Treated Differently
What’s important to know about gambling laws in India, is that sports betting, casinos and poker are treated differently.
Today, the Public Gambling Act of 1867 and a bunch of local state laws regarding games of chance is the regulatory framework that make out the Indian gambling laws.
As betting and casino games are considered games of luck, while poker is considered a game of skill, there are no local online casinos but many local poker companies operating in India.
Local Indian poker sites include PokerStars India, Spartan Poker, Adda54 and Poker Baazi.
So from where does the “Indian online casinos and betting sites” operate from?
At this time, most websites operate from offshore jurisdictions like Malta, Cyprus and Curacao but some also have licenses in the UK and/or the Isle of Man.
So are Online Casinos and Sports Betting Legal in India?
Yes and no.
Due to the lack of regulation for online gambling, there is no law that says that casino and sports betting on the internet is legal. However, there is also no law that says the opposite.
In reality, this means that online gambling operators can offer their services to Indian players on the internet legally, without risking any penalties or such from the Indian government.
For more information, see a full list of Indian online casinos here, and a breakdown of the Indian gambling law.
What are the biggest online casinos in India?
The LeoVegas Group is currently the biggest online casino operator in India. Their top brands LeoVegas and Royal Panda is currently showcased on all gambling related sites, such as CasinoCaptain.com.
Another big casino is Rizk.com, which is operated by Gaming Innovation Group (GIG). Both GIG and LeoVegas Group are listed on the Stockholm stock exchange, which makes them both good and safe options for players.
Gambling advertising in India
One big thing we need to cover in the advertising for gambling related products in india, which is huge.
The one thing to notice is that online casinos only do banner advertising on websites (and mainly websites not based in India). This is due to the lack of regulation, and webmasters in India are usually not keen to break laws, or even potentially risk breaking any regulations.
However, for poker it’s a totally different story. Poker sites advertise on TV, billboards, on social media platforms, in newspapers and other types of media.
A popular ad that was on multiple TV-networks in India featured the biggest poker wins ever recorded. This went viral and most likely made thousands of Indian gamblers to sign-up to these poker websites.
The poker sites are pretty much everywhere you look, due to the legal status of the game, and the popularity among players.
So what does the future hold for the Indian gambling market?
Our best guess is that not much will happen in the coming 5 years, looking at regulations and laws.
The Indian government is a slow moving body and it does not seem to not have the intention or will to touch the current regulations.
However, much can change in a few years, and we would be surprised if not at least sports betting will be legalised within 10 years.
Betting on cricket is massive today, and the grey market online betting is already the biggest in the world. This means the Indian government could be making billions of dollars in gambling tax, which we’re sure they will capitalize on moving forward.
Article by Peter Amsel. Amsel is a UK based gambling writer who has been cited in multiple major publications online.