While gambling has become a rising trend on a global scale, its stark growth in India is quite noteworthy. Studies showed that around 80% of India’s adult population engaged in gambling at least once a year. Moreover, reports also showed that around 40% of Indians have engaged in at least one form of online gambling. Statista also projected that India’s casino segment can reach a total revenue of $32.31 million this 2022.
These numbers are not small at all. They reflect how prominent gambling has become in India.
Gambling Is A Tricky Subject
Even if this trend is evident, gambling is a tricky subject in India. This goes for both a land-based and online casino in India.
On a national level, the law that regulates gambling activity, in its many forms, is India’s Public Gaming Act of 1867. According to this Act, gambling in any way or form is prohibited. More specifically, the Act focuses on the penalties for setting up and managing a gambling house. Non-compliant individuals may have to pay a fine or even get imprisoned for a certain period.
Considering the Act’s prohibition on gambling activity, it is quite surprising how the gambling industry has skyrocketed in India.
Nevertheless, considering the date and roots of the Act, it is safe to conclude that matters concerning online gaming and online casinos are in the gray. Thinking about the roots of the Act and how it was drafted at a less-developed point in time, one may conclude that the country’s legal system does not concretely prohibit online gambling activity.
While this is the case on a national level, some states in India have explicitly legalized and prohibited online betting. Sikkim, Daman, and Goa states have allowed online casinos, while Telangana and Andhra Pradesh have banned online gambling activity. Other states have yet to explicitly relay their stance on the matter.
Smartphones and the Internet
Nevertheless, online gambling and casino activity in India has been rapidly growing. Two huge contributors to this immense growth are the widespread availability of both smartphones and the internet.
It is no question that these two have made online gambling easier and more accessible. Bettors and gamblers can simply tune into an online casino via a web browser or access a betting app of some sort.
Game developers have also been consistently releasing games and ramping up their services which, in turn, encourages existing punters to continue and others to try out the craft.
While it is estimated that there are around 750 million smartphone users in India, this number is expected to grow as such smartphones and internet connections become more accessible in rural areas. Individuals can expect online casino activity to grow alongside the rise in smartphone ownership. As more Indians own smartphones and access the internet, more punters are expected to hit the online casino landscape.
Offshore Online Casinos
It is also important to note that since India is quite unclear when it comes to online gambling and online casino operations, digital punters mostly avail of offshore services. Several online casinos and sportsbooks are specifically designed for Indians. Considering this, it is no surprise that Indians prefer gambling online rather than offline.
With these offshore options, Indians can place their IPL bets in real time and from anywhere they are. Not to mention, they can even go beyond the IPL and bet on other major leagues.
Projections For The Future
It is not far off to expect India’s gambling landscape to rise as technology continues to advance in the country.
Moreover, as the industry continues to grow, Indians may also expect more states and even the national government to give their stance toward the craft.
The growth of the industry as a whole can significantly impact the nation’s economy. While this is a huge benefit for India’s economy, leaders should also not turn a blind eye to the other side of the coin: the rise of gambling addiction.
In the end, when it comes to the regulation of online casino activity, it is up to the leaders to weigh the pros and cons and decide on a stance that allows both sides to meet halfway and mutually benefit.