Is Betting Legal in India?

More and more bookmakers are now catering for customers based in India, however is betting on sports really legal? This article will explain everything that there is to know about gambling in India, perfect for those who are still unsure.

Gambling Laws in India

Those wishing to place bets will want to do so whilst ensuring that they do not violate any laws, however information in this area is still a little difficult to understand completely. Gambling of any kind was formally unregulated, meaning that many people earned a small fortune, while others lost significant amounts of cash. As a result, the Indian government introduced the Public Gambling Act of 1867. This act stated that all casinos or public gambling facilities were prohibited, however there is no mention of online betting here, offering hope to millions of potential punters. As a result, betting on sports through an online bookmaker is completely legal, providing that they hold a valid gambling license. Online gambling is now regulated in both Goa and Sikkim, however it is still illegal in Maharashtra. Meanwhile, with most bookmakers operating outside of India, laws surrounding the operation of gambling facilities can generally be discarded.

Legalisation of Sports Betting

Betting on horse racing was made legal in 1996 by the Supreme Court, however sports including cricket and soccer were not. The breeding of horses is a profitable industry in India, which is believed to have been a significant factor in this decision. However, the government is well aware of the gambling activity of a significant proportion of the population today, while the fact that they have done little to stop this meaning that it is not a major concern for them.

India Supreme Court

India Supreme Court / Image by Shutterstock

Factors to Consider When Selecting a Bookmaker in India

Despite the Indian gambling industry being unregulated, this does not mean that punters should not choose carefully when it comes to finding a new betting site. The best betting platforms are both secure and reliable, however the following points must be taken into consideration before making a final decision:

Licensing – The first thing to consider when registering with a bookmaker it to work out whether they have a valid gambling license for those based in India. Major authorities in the UK, Malta or Curacao are all well respected within the industry, with such authorities having to follow all rules and regulations when it comes to wagering online.

Security – There are also a number of security measures in place on betting sites to ensure that all transactions are processed safely. An SSL encryption is often used by bookmakers in this area, whilst our reviews demonstrate which platforms score highly in this area also.

Banking – The best bookmakers will also offer a good amount of banking options to customers based in India, whether it be for depositing or withdrawing funds. Credit and debit cards, bank transfers and e-wallets are all favoured by punters, while those in India are likely to have some more specific requirements in this area too.

Customer Support – Those offering 24/7 support for customers operating online are likely to attract punters as a result, however not all betting sites cater well for Indian-based bettors in this area. While this should not be needed too often, it is nice to know that help is on hand where necessary. So, register with a bookmaker that puts a good amount of emphasis upon their customer service features, whether it be via telephone, email or live chat.