Another country that has played a large role in contributing to the global gambling and online betting industry is India. Known primarily for Matka, India’s policy towards betting is similar to that of other countries’, wherein gambling is allowed to a certain extent, although it is strictly monitored and regulated by the government.
Legalities Of Betting Online In India
Although the laws with regard to online betting in India are somewhat murky, such activities along with online lottery betting remain illegal. With more and more land based gambling operations in the country being closed down by the government, many are now taking advantage of the legal loopholes to online gambling. Even with the presence of the Public Gambling Act, the trend points to an increasing popularity in online gambling in the country.
Much of the problem lies in the fact that many of these online gambling firms are located outside the country. This makes it difficult for Indian authorities to crack down on their operations, since virtually all these companies operate outside the bounds of Indian law. Even the move of the government to block certain websites has proven ineffective, as the online casinos in question simply open up new sites.
Most industry analysts expect that the revision of the Public Gambling Act and the IT Act will help clear up the legality of betting online in the country, but for now, these changes appear to be way off into the future.
Current Online Betting Trends In India
Present trends point to the continuing state of affairs for the Indian online betting industry, in which the government will continue to maintain its grip on all gambling and betting related activities. Nevertheless, the government is paving the way for the entry of more entrants into the lucrative online gambling market. The Sikkim state government for instance plans to provide online betting licenses for three online firms in 2010. Among the betting sites that have signified interest in securing licenses are William Hill, Betfair, Bwin, 888.com, and Ladbrokes. Online sports betting has the potential to explode in India once residents have easier access and convenient deposit methods.
History Of Betting In India
A major component of the betting industry in India is the native game of Matka. Originating from the Mumbai district, the game is in fact so prevalent that its name is practically synonymous to gambling. Ratan Khatri is widely considered primarily responsible for the development of the game and its subsequent spread throughout the country.
In contrast, live casino gambling is a relatively new development in the country and to date, such gambling establishments are only allowed to operate in Goa and Sikkim. Industry observers have noted that the establishment of gambling industries in these states–which are the two smallest in India–was undertaken at least in part to improve the economic climate in those regions.
January of 2001 marked the opening of the first casino in the country. Located in Goa, this casino was one of the few casinos that were established until 2004, when the government disallowed the building of any new ones in the state. The government relaxed this ruling in 2007, allowing more casinos to operate in Goa.