From Illegal to Regulated: Exploring the Path to Online Cricket Betting in India

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The popularity of cricket in India is unmatched, with millions of passionate fans across the country. Naturally, cricket betting has also become a widespread activity in India, with numerous individuals placing bets on both major and minor cricket matches. However, the legality of cricket betting sites in the country has long been a subject of debate. This article delves into the chances of online regulation for cricket betting in India.

The Scope of Online Cricket Betting in India

At present, cricket betting in India is illegal, except in a few states where it is permitted under specific conditions on online sites. Despite cricket betting’s illegal status, it thrives in the country, with millions of rupees wagered on cricket matches each year. Numerous bookmakers operate in India, offering various betting options for events like the ongoing 2023 Indian Premier League.

The Indian government has been actively combatting illegal betting in recent years, but it has proven difficult to eradicate. The high demand for cricket betting and the constant search for new avenues to place bets, whether through online bookmakers or underground networks, contribute to the persistent nature of illegal betting.

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Cricket holds a dominant position in the Indian betting landscape, with the Indian Premier League (IPL) being the pinnacle tournament. MyBetting India reported in 2021 that approximately 80-90% of sports betting revenues are generated from cricket wagers. Notably, it is estimated that bets placed on the IPL in 2020 alone amounted to around Rs 50,000 crore ($6.8 billion), an impressive figure even during the height of the pandemic.

These statistics emphasize the potential revenue that could be generated from a regulated cricket betting industry in India.

The Chances of Online Regulation

Discussions surrounding the regulation of online betting in India have been ongoing for some time, and it appears that progress is being made. The Law Commission of India issued a report in July 2021 that advocated for the country’s legalisation and regulation of online gambling and betting. The report highlighted the potential revenue generation and job creation that a well-regulated betting industry could bring.

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The report proposed the establishment of a new law specifically tailored to online gambling and betting, which would regulate the industry and safeguard consumers against fraud and other illegal activities. If enacted, this legislation would also create a regulatory body to oversee the industry, ensuring compliance with regulations, similar to the UK Gambling Commission’s role in the United Kingdom.

How India Could Benefit From Regulating Online Cricket Betting

Regulating online betting in India would yield several advantages. Firstly, it would help eliminate unregulated and illegal betting, reducing the risks of fraud and other criminal activities. Secondly, it could generate significant revenue for the government, which could be allocated to various social and economic initiatives. Lastly, the regulated online cricket betting industry would create employment opportunities, thus contributing to the fight against unemployment in India.

A regulatory body would also ensure that all operators adhere to regulations, offering fair and transparent betting options to customers. The presence of a regulatory commission could protect consumers from fraud and illegal activities, mitigating the risks associated with online gambling activities such as cricket betting.

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