The fact that online casinos for real money in India have managed to make a name for themselves in the country's entertainment ecosystem should be of no surprise to anyone. With a gamers' database counting over 628 million that is continuously on the rise, virtual gaming is prone to heavily influence the overall economy here. The fact that the major developers in the industry are pumping a lot of money and many of their freshest releases into India, together with the heavy gambling banning status here and Indians' endless love for gaming and sports wagering are all contributing to the current state of things.
In 2013, about a third of the people who chose to fly to Goa did it so they could visit their favorite brick-and-mortar and river floating casinos here. At the moment, there are still lots of gamers who have no problem with wagering at casino houses that have not been officially licensed to function, which means they are at risk of being fined. The undeniable need for legalized forms of gambling in the country is best shown through the Indian gaming financial figures recorded here.
Let us take a closer look at what gambling in India looks like and understand what we can expect from the future.
Gambling In India: Then and Now
Right now, most forms of gambling are forbidden in the country, but lotteries, horse racing, and rummy paplu (rummy) are considered legal since they are games of skill. At the same time, poker and cricket are not included in the same category by lawmakers in the country. In fact, poker, one of the most popular casino games for real money preferred by millions of players in the country seems to be a significant grey area in terms of gambling legislation. Teen Patti or Flush and Texas Hold ’em poker variants are completely banned in India, whereas Rummy is 100% legal to play. Another inadvertency is the fact that betting on horse races which is also one of the simples games that can be fixed is completely legal here since it is labeled as a game of skill while betting on cricket which has very similar skill requirements is banned at the opposite side.
Without a doubt, some serious changes will need to be brought to the legislation and its permissiveness gave gamers' pressure and desire to gamble freely and legally. At the moment, Goa, Sikkim, and Daman are the only Indian states where locals and tourists can take advantage of their preferred casino gambling titles. According to the Daman, Goa, and Diu Public Gambling Act that has been issued in 1976, casino houses can only be run inside five-star hotels as well as river floating vessels. All land casinos and gambling houses that do not comply with these strict location requirements will be held legally accountable for their activities. William Hill and 888 Casino were expected to build Indian headquarters in 2010, but, unfortunately, all negotiations fell through.
According to the Information Technology Rules in 2011 and the Information Technology Act in 2000, ISPs and Website Hosts are required to promptly block access to a variety of online sites and web content, with Section 2 of the act mentioning things that are “relating or encouraging money laundering or gambling”. In this addition, the Information Technology Act is in total opposition with the direction that players in India seem to be heading. The Sikkim Government has already made sports betting and casino wagering legal, while Goa hosts casinos that are not deemed outside the law. There are also thirteen Goa states that have made lotteries legal and lottery and the International Cricket Council CEO has asked government officials to legalize websites where punters can place cricket bets for real money as a means of preventing corruption as well as the common match-fixing practices.
We can expect more important actors to keep pushing for the legalization of more gambling activities in the country, despite the Indian Government continues to act against it.
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Offshore Gambling Sites In India
There are plenty of gambling sites located offshore that currently offer their gaming and wagering services on the web to players in the country. They have simplified and adapted their banking solutions so that they are Indian-friendly and gamers can find plenty of real money casinos online that accept Indian Rupees. According to 2024 projections, the Indian gambling industry will be worth 250 billion Indian Rupees. At the end of 2020, India is also projected to be worth around 88 billion, recording an impressive growth compared to the 2019 figures of 62 billion Indian Rupees.
The country counted that 201 million mobile players in 2016 will rise by the end of 2020 by 125 million more. By the end of 2022, we can expect to witness 370 million players on the go ready to ready to play their favorite online slots and other casino titles with no restrictions.
The huge number of active players in the country places it in the top five at a global level and the eSports betting industry is also on the rise here. Specialists believe that mobile gaming here will be worth $105 billion at the end of 2022.
India will most likely lose more than $1.5 billion in terms of tax money every year because the Central Government refuses to close its eyes regarding the need for growth and legalization of the virtual casino industry. Factors like the Holi festival influence these Indian gaming industry figures and make them go up by 40% during this single festival alone.
Sports betting is also a growing segment here and Indian punters love to wager on tennis, cricket, and football. Given the market consisting of more than 300 million gamers and their need to get access to more options, we can expect India to gradually turn into one of the most lucrative gambling countries on the planet.