Online gambling has been one of the fastest-growing markets in recent years. While the last couple of years has hurt many industries, lockdowns and limitations helped the iGaming industry expand even more, reaching new peaks.
When it comes to online casinos in India, the situation is still somewhat murky, but this is likely to change in the coming months and years. As things stand right now, online gambling is neither legal nor illegal in the country. It is not specifically defined by current laws governing this area.
Gambling is explicitly allowed only in three states: Daman, Goa, and Sikkim. In other parts of the country, the law prohibits local operators from setting up shop, but that doesn’t mean there aren’t plenty of Indian online casinos out there. Many offshore operators are more than happy to accept players from India, and they’re not breaking any laws by doing so.
Is Regulation About to Happen?
If we look at Europe, many countries have regulated online gambling on the local level. Casinos wanting to offer services in these countries now have to apply for local licenses. This helps improve the safety of the players but also boosts the countries’ budgets through the taxation of the operators and, in some instances, players.
India will likely follow suit. According to online casino guide Gamblino, India will become one of the top gambling markets within the next five years, and this seems very likely. Currently, the growth of the iGaming industry is somewhat thwarted by unclear laws and difficulties that players face when depositing and withdrawing money.
With regulation, all these problems will go away, and India will take off as the next huge online casino market.
Some Obstacles Still Remain
Before this can happen, though, there are certain obstacles that India will need to overcome. Some political groups are strongly against online gambling, regulated or otherwise, and these groups will not easily give up their beliefs.
Some states have already seen laws outlawing online gambling, even under the threat of imprisonment. While these laws don’t have wide support in the rest of the country, every state is free to regulate certain aspects as they see fit, and gambling falls under this remit.
However, there is very little that these types of bans achieve, as we’ve seen through many examples, most notably in the United States. If players don’t have access to regulated options, they’ll continue playing on offshore sites, which isn’t an ideal scenario for any party involved.
Players on these sites don’t get the necessary level of safety or protection. The country doesn’t get any benefits, as these operators don’t pay taxes or contribute in any way to the local economy.
Faced with this reality, Indian politicians will eventually have to give in and accept the reality. Even those who are against gambling will need to opt for the lesser of two evils (from their viewpoint) and allow for regulated online casinos in some way.
This may not happen tomorrow or a month from now, but in the next couple of years, India is poised to become one of the largest online gambling markets in the world.