India, the world’s largest democracy with a population of 1.5 billion, has become a vibrant market for gambling entrepreneurs and investors. In this guide, we will discuss the legality of sports and casino betting in India.
India's Rising Potential as a Gambling Market
India is a thriving country with a population of 1.5 billion people, making it the world's largest democracy. It has a robust industry, is a hub of innovation and invention, and is considered an exciting and vibrant market for entrepreneurs and investors interested in gambling.
The country has enormous potential for betting companies, and they are looking to tap into this large pool of potential players. However, due to red tape, they have to navigate their way around and lobby politicians to make regulated gaming possible.
The Current State of Betting in India
Currently, horse racing and the state lottery are the only unrestricted betting options available in India. Online gaming has been in a legal grey area, with states initially banning it and then retracting the ban. Casinos are scarce, and sports betting laws vary from state to state.
However, India still enforces the 1867 Public Gambling Act, which has several loopholes that have not been addressed, mainly because online betting was not a thing back in the 19th century.
Sports Betting in India
The Indian Premier League (IPL) is the most popular cricket league in the world, with an estimated 380 million fans tuning in regularly. Although sports betting generates a lot of controversy in India, there are no formal laws regulating online sports betting. The only restriction is that gambling is an offense when it takes place in a public house, which online betting sidesteps. Additionally, there is a vast underground, unregulated betting market in India that could generate tax revenue if regulated.
Online Casinos India and Poker
Several online casinos operators offer blackjack, roulette, baccarat, slots, and even Andar Bahar, a traditional Indian card game of chance, to Indian players. However, there are no formal laws regulating online gambling, which allows online casinos to operate freely. Experts predict that online poker is growing at a rate of 35% to 40% year on year in India, and in 2022, Poker Baazi saw a revenue jump of 64%, indicating the popularity of the game.
Online Casinos India Today
India, with its second-most populous country in the world, has very few casinos. Currently, only three states permit casinos: Daman, Sikkim, and Goa. Delta Corp is the only listed company in India operating in the casino sector and operates India's two largest offshore casinos, the Deltin Royale and the Deltin JAQK, as well as a floating hotel and casino, the King Casino.
The company also owns the Deltin Suites, located on land in Goa, and the Delta Corp owned Casino Deltin Denzong, located in the northeast of the country, bordering Nepal, Bhutan, and Tibet.
A Bet with a View
The Delta Corp owned Casino Deltin Denzong is a 6,000 feet above sea level venue in Sikkim that offers players "a celestial gaming experience against the backdrop of the frozen pinnacle of Mt. Kanchenjunga, the third-highest peak in the world." Delta Corp saw a 233% increase in gross revenue in June 2022 as it recovered from total shutdown and the COVID-19 pandemic.
India has a vast potential market for gambling, and operators are already making inroads. While there are still many hurdles to overcome, the country's growing middle class, increasing disposable income, and the rise of online gambling all point to an exciting future for the Indian gambling industry.