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India online sports betting laws

India, with a population of 1.37 billion, is one of the world’s most populous countries – and it's also a hotbed of sporting passion. Indian people love their cricket, and many other sports too. Sports betting in India is a huge deal and the market continues to grow at an astonishing rate of 20% per year.

Is sports betting legal in India?

The simple answer to this question is yes. Online sports betting in India is legal in most parts of the country.

However, the picture behind that is a little more nuanced. Online betting in India is treated as legal because it is not mentioned in Indian betting laws and, therefore, is not explicitly prohibited. What adds to the complexity of the situation is that gambling is seen as a state matter in India. Each of the 29 states has the authority to make laws that apply to gambling activity in that particular area.

The only central law that touches on the subject is the Public Gambling Act of 1867. By definition, this does not mention online betting; indeed, it only prohibits running or being in charge of a public gaming house.

The Information Technology Act of 2000 regulates cyber activities in India. It doesn’t, however, mention gambling or betting.

In the years since online betting has thrived across the world, only a few states have banned it. It is, as a result, widely considered legal in the rest of India. Consequently, several of the biggest names in international bookmaking have begun offering sports betting in India from offshore, confident they will not be prosecuted.

Partly because the legal picture is complicated, a large amount of illicit betting with unlicensed bookmakers takes place in India. Hundreds of millions of dollars change hands on every match in the IPL, for instance. With no central government department responsible for gambling, there is little formal regulation of the industry.

Similarly, there are no federal responsible gambling measures – although some of the best online betting sites in India do offer some self-regulating assistance as part of their general customer relationship management.

Online sports betting in India represents a huge opportunity for the brands that have managed to take a share of the market. With roughly 500 million mobile users in the area, the potential market for international operators who set up Indian online betting sites is enormous. And alongside competition for customers, should also come more choice for the bettor.

What odds format is used in India?

Decimal odds

When sports betting in India, you are most likely to find odds expressed in a decimal format. This is different to the other two ways in which betting probabilities are displayed in other parts of the world.

The odds at online betting sites in India might say the Mumbai Indians are 3.0 to win the IPL. This means that for every $100 you stake, you will receive $300 if the Indians win the tournament.

In fractional odds, as used in the UK, this bet would be displayed as 2/1. You get $200 back for every £100 you put on the bet, as well as your stake returned, making the same total of $300.

The third type of odds are American odds. Here the Mumbai Indians would be shown at +200. You receive $200 for every $100 you stake, plus your initial investment is returned.

You do not have to wager $100 – you can bet any amount you like. Use our odds calculator to work out your returns on your bets.

Top sports in India

Cricket

Cricket is more than a sport in India, it’s a passion followed with fanatical devotion by hundreds of millions of fans. In every corner of the country people play and watch matches with an intensity seen in very few other parts of the world.

India’s national team is one of the world’s best and has won every international prize going. The IPL (Indian Premier League), the country’s domestic competition, has quickly established itself as the leading annual Twenty20 tournament and commands a global audience. The appetite for cricket is absolutely insatiable and the amount bet on every match in the IPL runs into tens of millions of dollars.

Indian sports betting FAQs

Is online betting legal in India?
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What is the best online betting site in India?
Can I bet on my mobile in India?
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What sports can I bet on in India?