Cricket is by far the most popular sport in India. In fact, the sport has a cult following in the country attracting a viewership that adds up to tens of millions. In terms of players, India has some of the greatest cricket players who have brought several titles to the country.
India also plays host to the Indian Premier League (IPL), one of the grandest and among the top cricket tournaments in the world. This is most followed event and attracts a significant fan base. In addition, most betting sites are always buzzing with activity due to the influx of avid bettors.
Despite the huge fanbase, betting on cricket in India still remains in a legal grey area. Firstly, the Public Gambling Act of 1867 prohibits running a gambling house. However, states are at liberty of formulating their own gambling laws. As of 2022, only 3 states namely Goa, Daman, and Sikkim allow sports betting which includes cricket betting.
Online cricket betting in India
Betting online in India is not regulated by any federal laws. Recently, a number of states explicitly criminalized online betting. Even with the set rules, no players have been prosecuted on account of online sports betting. Currently, only the states of Goa, Sikkim, and Daman allow online cricket betting and other sports.
Cricket betting in off-shore sites
When it comes to off-shore sites, India has no specific laws that prohibit offering services that are geared towards the Indian betting market. Therefore, betting lovers have a myriad of options that offer payments in rupees.
According to Cricfolks, the unofficial cricket betting market could be worth $150 billion making it a goldmine for off-shore sites. This is because, the country has over 140 million residents who bet regularly and up to 370 million during special cricket matches.
Unlike land-based establishments that operate legally, online sites offer the most competitive odds, great bonuses, and diverse payment methods in rupees. This makes them more convenient and better options.
As of now, a number of legit online betting sites offers cricket lovers with a huge selection of cricket games. Online sites licensed and regulated by renowned licensing bodies are safe and secure to wager real money. To by-pass the gambling rules, players have the option to use e-wallets since credit cards don’t allow payment to gambling sites.
In addition, there are several betting markets available for players to choose from. These can range from bets that require an analysis of the game to those based on chance. Across most sites, players can opt for outright bets, prop bets, totals bets, or over/under bets.
Fantasy cricket betting
Being a game of skill, fantasy cricket is exempted from the Public Gambling Act of 1867. Unlike sports betting, fantasy cricket requires you to use your knowledge to predict the performances of the players. Over the last decade this has been the go-to option for players seeking a legal gambling option in the country. Players in the country understand even the most intricate details of their players enabling them to put up great fantasy leagues.
To keep up with growing number of fantasy players, there are several mobile apps and websites that cater for fantasy sports. These are practically similar with only a few additions that make each stand out. In addition, most apps have a variety of gaming options since players don’t have to rely on major tournaments, but most cricket series played around the world.
The future of cricket betting in India
Despite the stalemate that is currently there on sports betting, it is evident that there is no slowing down. The number of internet users has increased over the years making sports betting even more lucrative and easily accessible. In addition, more sites continue to get valid licences from regulatory bodies from Malta and other jurisdictions. This means there will be more legal and safe sites geared towards accommodating Indian players.
The result will be that off-shore sites will continue to reap big from the industry. This is a major loss as the government continues to lose out on this revenue stream. States such as Andre Pradesh that have completely banned online gaming have proven that this is not a viable solution as online betting continues to thrive.
In future, avid bettors can only hope that the government will legalize and regulate sports betting. This will provide safe sites that operate within the set laws. Moreover, regulation will promote responsible gaming by curbing underground operators.