In India, online gambling is still in an ambiguous legal situation. Various federal laws interlace with state laws, some of which are contradictory. This creates a very unclear landscape for the average person to decipher.
However, most legal experts agree that online betting can be undertaken legally in India – depending on the state you’re residing in. The state of Maharashtra, for instance, strictly prohibits online gambling under the ‘Bombay Wager Act’. Sikkim, on the other hand, permits online betting and gaming as of 2010.
In spite of this unclear legal situation, the online betting scene in India appears to be growing all the time. More and more betting sites and online casinos are scrambling to take a bite out of the country’s enormous betting market.
However, most iGaming operators and betting affiliates in India still agree that the big opening in the market is yet to come. After all, most Indians still believe that online betting is illegal. These players won’t even begin to consider joining a betting site before any legal ambiguities are made clear and altogether sanctioned by the federal government. When this happens, the online betting market in India will likely skyrocket – to the benefit of the early movers.
Who will win the battle for India?
There are many international betting sites like Bet365, Royal Panda and Betway which have already set up shop in India. These sites operate outside Indian borders. However, they transact in Indian currency. This makes it possible and technically legal for Indians to use them.
Because of the market’s uncertainty, affiliates play an important role in educating players on what deposit methods they can use, whether they accept Indian rupees and much more.
In effect, services like this have stepped in and filled a vacuum in the Indian affiliate market by answering all the practical questions that Indian players may have with regards to online betting and how to go about it.
We caught up with Indian affiliate marketer Tomesh, who is Editor-in-Chief on MyBettingSites.com India, to ask him some questions about his view on the state of the online betting affiliate scene in India.
“The online betting industry in India continues to grow by leaps and bounds,” says Tomesh. “We are experiencing an increase in interest for online betting sites every single month, despite the betting regulations remaining virtually unchanged.”
Leadstar Media: What is it that makes India such an interesting market in terms of online betting?
Tomesh: “Look at the potential. You have 1.3 billion people, mostly young, who have all grown up being obsessed with sports like cricket. Access to the internet and smartphones is also becoming more readily available each day.”
LM: What is it that online betting comparison sites like MyBettingSites bring to the table in India?
T: “It’s quite simple really. We show Indians the practicalities of how to start betting online in India, within the confines of the law.
“On MyBettingSites, we inform players about all the best betting sites that accept Indian players, how to deposit on said sites, how to obtain a welcome bonus and more.”
LM: Where do you see the Indian online betting market in 5-10 years?
T: “In 5-10 years, I see an online betting market that’s been completely liberalised in India. All the political groundwork still has to be done, but the will to do it is there.
“The government has realised what a huge potential source of income this is for them. So, I feel quite certain this is the direction we are heading in.
“Of course, this is good news for the Indian sports bettor and casino gambler. It means that even more betting sites will begin catering to Indian players with a tailor-made betting product.”