Where can we bet securely and which are the leading bookmakers in India?
In the table below, you will find our recommendation for the best betting websites in India. There you will find professional customer support and a lot of options for sports betting and casino games.
Betting in India is a popular pastime, although it is illegal in almost all forms, almost everywhere in the country. There are a couple of different states that have legalized certain types of betting within their jurisdiction, and one state that has legalized online betting. Despite this patchy acceptance of gambling, there are still a number of ways to engage in betting relatively safely.
Interesting Facts about Betting in India
- Betting on cricket is one of the most popular forms of gambling in India.
- After cricket, the second most popular sport to bet on is kabaddi, a game popular in India and the wider South Asian region.
- Horse betting is one of the only legal forms of gambling in India.
- The illegal betting market is worth over $150 billion, annually.
- Although gambling is illegal in most of the country, it is not in Goa, and international tourists will come to the region specifically to gamble.
- Over 180 million Indians regularly gamble.
Gambling Legislation and Laws
The Public Gaming Act of 1867 is a piece of legislation that governs gambling activities in the country. As a result of this, most forms of gambling were outlawed. This law banned owning and operating a venue where gambling took place. Although the legislation can be confusing and does not directly state what constitutes gambling, another law defines it as “any activity or undertaking whose determination is controlled or influenced by chance or accident or any activity or undertaking which is entered into or undertaken with consciousness of the risk of winning or losing”.
This law does not specify anything in regards to online gambling, however, the Information Technology Act of 2000 allows the government the right to ban international websites. Although this does not specifically mention betting sites, they can technically fall into this category.
At a state level, some parts of the country have chosen to create their own legislation around gambling. Goa and Sikkim have legalized some forms of gambling, while Maharashtra has completely banned it, including online gambling.
Competition between Operators
Because gambling is technically illegal in India, there are no formal monopolies on the market that restrict opportunities for punters.
As a result, there are a number of international betting sites that have extended their services to Indian bettors. No single site has a vast majority of the betting population, and bettors can browse their options until they find one that is right for them.
Bonuses from Indian Bookmakers
There are a number of different bonuses and promotions available for bettors, from bookmakers that exist in the Indian market. When punters sign up, they will be offered a welcome bonus. These vary slightly from site to site, and there may be a few options for punters to choose from. But generally, these welcome bonuses provide new users with free bets or money solely for signing up or making an initial deposit. Sometimes these bonuses are for casino games or sports betting, and sometimes they can be used however the bettor wishes.
There are also a number of different bonuses and promotions for existing customers, to encourage them to continue to engage with the site. These vary much more than the welcome bonuses and are frequently changing. Punters may receive increased odds on certain games, free spins for specific slot games, or accumulator bonuses on some sporting events
Although there are no specific bonuses and promotions for Indian customers, they are able to receive all of the perks that other international customers receive.
Betting Features and Options in the Indian Bookmakers
Bookmakers are continually looking to provide the best services possible for their punters, especially in the competitive international market. This is beneficial for the punter, who gets to experience new features and options that are designed to make their online betting experience as exciting as possible. Some of these features available for Indian bettors include:
Available Payment Methods
There are a number of different ways that Indian customers can deposit and withdraw money from betting sites. Most will offer Visa and Mastercard, as well as other popular methods such as Neteller and Skrill. These are generally free, and instantaneous. There are some anecdotes of people being denied the opportunity to use bank transfers to withdraw and deposit money, or bank cards being denied because online gambling is technically illegal. While there is no mention of this on any official betting site, users should still be careful and only use reputable gaming sites. Users should also note that for the same reason, local banks might deny transactions to betting sites.
The currency used in India is rupees, and unfortunately only some, but not all sites accept this as a form of currency to bet with. Many sites will allow users to still deposit rupees, but will require them to exchange the money into a different currency, often charging excessive conversion rates. Indian punters should be careful that they are not hit with any hidden costs when playing on a site that does not accept betting in rupees.
Mobile Betting in India
Despite the fact that online gambling is illegal in India, mobile betting continues to grow, creating a demand for high-quality services for Indian punters. And a number of different organizations have not disappointed the market. There are numerous apps available to download for free on both Apple and Android devices, providing users with the ability to bet wherever, and whenever they wish.
Many companies will also occasionally offer mobile bonuses, for downloading the app or placing bets using a device and not the desktop version of the site. If punters are interested in betting via a mobile device, they might wish to find a service that can offer them these bonuses, simply for mobile betting.
Like all other forms of gambling online, casinos are technically illegal in India. This means that no companies are licensed to offer their services to Indian punters, and therefore limited support from the government in the event of fraud or other such unfortunate events.
In saying that, a number of international companies extend their online services to Indian punters, and there are a number of online casinos that welcome Indian players. Technically there is no law against playing in an online casino, so punters do not need to worry about legal repercussions.
Leading sports for betting in India
Sports betting is more popular than casino gambling in India. Although Indian punters are generally limited by the international market as opposed to local trends and interests, there are still a number of sports that are well covered on betting sites that Indian bettors flock to. These include:
Cricket has been, and continues to be, the most popular sport in India. The national team excels when competing in international matches, and is a source of pride for the country. Therefore it makes sense that the most common sport to bet on would be cricket. Luckily, cricket enjoys significant support internationally, and there are a number of different sites that offer extensive coverage of the sport, and of both local and international teams.
Football is the most popular sport in the world, and another popular sport to bet on. Because India relies heavily on international betting sites, they are exposed to these markets as well. Of course, Indians can bet on all of the large international championships, but there are a number of Indian teams that they can bet on as well, from some sites.
Sim Bhullar was the first Indian national to be drafted into the NBA, the largest basketball competition in the world. After that point, the popularity of the sport soared in India. Today, the Basketball Federation of India regulates the sport, and as a result, there is increasing interest in the discipline and betting on the game, both from a younger population. Because the sport is so popular globally, bettors do not need to worry about coverage on betting sites.
Tennis is another sport that has quietly gained popularity in India, and also with Indian bettors. There are a number of Indian tennis players that have gained international recognition for their abilities, and patriotic punters love to bet on them in international matches.
- Boxing and MMA
These contact sports are slowly gaining popularity with an Indian audience, and luckily enough, there is also international demand for betting on these events. India has recently established its own Super Fight League, which many major betting sites offer betting on.
The Profile of an Indian Bettor
Is online betting legal in India?
Online gambling is not really legal in India, however, the law is somewhat murky. There are no online bookmakers that are registered and licensed to offer services to the Indian population, but that does not stop them, and it does not stop Indians from playing on such sites. Indian law cannot restrict companies from overseas, and the law does not directly prohibit punters from accessing these sites.
Are there any taxes for players on their winnings?
Due to the fact that gambling is illegal, the government does not demand a percentage of any winnings. The only exception to this law is betting on horse races. Punters are not taxed on their winnings in this instance, they are taxed on their best. The Indian government taxes all legal bets at 28%, regardless of whether the punter wins or loses.
Are there any local Indian betting sites?
There are currently no betting sites that are from India, for Indian punters, that will accept bets using real money. This is due to the fact that it is illegal in most parts of the country to offer gambling services online in any form.
Despite this, there are still some international sites that are offered in Hindi, and will accept rupees as a form of betting currency, and offer a range of sports betting that is focused on an Indian market. If punters are looking for something local, one of these sites is their best option.
What are the consequences of online gambling in India?
Although gambling is technically illegal in most states of India, nobody has ever faced legal action for placing bets. The laws surrounding betting and gambling are focused on those who provide the services, not the ones that utilize them. As a result of this, the chances of facing legal repercussions are very slim.
Are there any betting restrictions for players from India?
Provided that punters are aware they are gambling illegally, there are no restrictions on them. They can still access a number of different international bookmakers, and bet on a variety of sports. There are a number of international sites that offer betting in local languages and currency, so that punters are inconvenienced as little as possible.
How to find the best online betting site in India?
Because gambling online is technically illegal in almost all states of India, there are a number of different things that Indians should be aware of when trying to find the best betting site. Because punters have to mostly rely on international sites, they need to make sure they have found a site that will, first of all, accept Indian players, that the site is offered in Hindi, and that it accepts rupees without forcing punters to pay for expensive currency conversions. Punters should also look for a site that caters to their specific betting interests – whether this is casino games, or certain sports. Finally, punters should always use a reputable, trusted site, to avoid instances of fraud or privacy breaches.
The illegal nature of betting in India makes it very difficult to get a full understanding of the current scene, because there is a massive gap in legal data. However what is known, is that there is a massive betting scene, which only continues to grow as online betting becomes easier to access.
Currently, the betting scene is not the safest, for either punter who can get taken advantage of, or for providers who risk being fined for breaking the law. Only time will tell if the Indian government will rethink and update their gambling laws at a federal level, to reflect the interests of the population. Because although betting is easy enough to access online, punters have limited protection, which can lead to serious issues for some.