Sai Sharma began his career working for a local business as a customer service agent, but the seeds for his future plans were already blooming. In his spare time, Sai worked for a newspaper writing reviews of cricket matches involving nearby teams; initially just a hobby, he soon began to wonder if it might be possible to combine his love of writing and sports into a full-time career.
After retraining, Sai started writing professionally in 2015, building on his newspaper contracts and also starting to write copy for the web. During this period, he learnt the ins and outs of the sport betting world, and eventually turned his talents to writing betting guides as well as reporting on sports stories. Promoted to editor of a popular sports blog in 2018, he continued writing and honing his craft until 2020, when he joined Betastic as Editor-in-Chief. He now specialises in writing guides, news, and betting tips for the site, as well as commissioning and editing work from other writers.
While he has moved multiple times for work in the past, Sai now works from his home office in Chennai, and any time away from his desk is usually spent watching cricket and Premier League football.
India has a history of gambling on casino games and betting on sports such as cricket and horse racing, but there are more questions and speculations than straightforward answers when it comes to its legal side.
Maybe you are wondering, is online gambling legal in India? Or is online betting legal in India? If you are asking any of the two questions, we’ve got you covered. The short answer is that you can safely and legally bet on sports and gamble on casino games in India. However, the law isn’t straightforward, and there’s more to this than meets the eye.
As far as betting and gambling are concerned, the legal landscape in India is vague. And while there are no specific or binding laws that govern online betting, some regulations, such as the Public Gambling Act of 1867 (PGA) and the Information Technology Act of 2000, try to limit how gambling activities should be conducted.
The PGA prohibits in-house gambling with a penalty of ₹100 or/and one month of jail time. The law also distinguishes betting based on luck and skill, allowing the latter and prohibiting betting on games of chance such as roulette, poker, and blackjack. Even with these differences, betting is generally legal in most Indian cities. Several states, such as Goa and Sikkim, allow offline gambling/betting on casino games and sporting activities. Others like the state of Maharashtra and Karnataka allow betting on games of skill but prohibits gambling on games of luck.
On the other hand, the IT Act of 2000 prohibits any activity that the government views as corruptible. Breaking this law comes with a fine of up to ₹100,000 or/and five years of jail time. However, with the advancement in technology, both these laws have been left in silos, meaning they are outdated and non-binding since they do not clearly address anything about online betting and gambling.
That said, internet betting in India has become a thing, thanks to technology, a favorable culture that values betting and gambling activities, and a broader market that’s eager to try out new things. With several offshore casinos and gambling sites allowing Indians to deposit, bet, and withdraw their winnings, gambling and betting activities are much alive and unrestricted. However, due to relatively high competition, betting sites are revamping their websites and services to ensure exceptional gaming and betting experience.
How to Choose the Best Online Betting Sites in India
Choosing one from the many betting sites can be a daunting experience, and it takes the proper selection to pick the best site that will meet your needs. Here are some of the factors to keep in mind when choosing an online betting site in India.
Reputation – You always want to choose a well-reputed site that has been in the market for long enough to earn the trust of other bettors. While most top sites are genuine, some like Betway are household names, and newbies may be more willing to try them out. A rule of thumb is to pick a couple of trustworthy sites before proceeding to make further comparisons. The best way to do this is to check Google reviews and go through other genuine review sites across the internet.
Welcome Bonus and Offers – Perhaps this is the first thing that most bettors and gamblers look for in a betting site. Great bonuses and offers are irresistible as they give you a chance to win big without actually spending your own money. However, you should pay keen attention to the wagering requirements or the bonus terms and conditions. Remember, the devil is always in the details.
Games Selection – If you are just getting started with online betting, you want to look for a site that offers as many game selection and betting options as possible. Doing so gives you the freedom to switch from betting on one game to betting on the other.
Customer Support – The betting process isn’t always straightforward. Sometimes deposits take a long time to reflect in your betting account, or the withdrawals may hang for hours. Regardless of the situation, highly responsive, friendly, and caring customer support will go a long way.
User Experience – This is a big deal as far as online betting is concerned. User experience encompasses everything within the betting site from the site’s responsiveness, loading speed, font type, images, security, withdrawal and deposit speeds, etc. Paying attention to these seemingly insignificant factors will help you avoid stress and frustration later on. Another thing to keep in mind is whether the site is customized for the Indian market. I.e., the best betting sites should allow deposits and withdrawals in rupees, and translations from English to Hindu should also be available.
Legal Online Betting Sites in India
Now that you know how to choose the best online betting sites in India, all you have left is sorting through the long list of betting sites and picking those that suit your taste and preference. That said, below are the legal betting sites that have withstood the test of time and the weight of scrutiny in the Indian betting and gambling market.
This is one of the biggest and most popular betting sites globally, and maybe you are wondering, is Betway legal in India? Well, the answer is a resounding yes! Betway isn’t only legal in India but also the most popular and highly trusted site among both sports bettors and casino lovers.
Betway accepts INR currency, has lots of betting options, and most importantly, offers highly competitive odds. In addition, the mobile app comes with a live streaming option, and generous bonuses and free bets give gamblers a reason to keep coming back to the site.
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Bet365 is one of the leading betting sites in the UK, and with more than 6 million users in over 200 countries, it’s clear that this is a big-time market player. But is bet365 legal or illegal in India? Let’s figure it out.
According to Indian laws, specific betting and gambling activities are illegal within the country. However, Bet365 doesn’t operate from within the country; in fact, the servers are located in the UK, where sports betting is legal. As a world-renowned brand, the company offers casino and sports betting for a wide variety of sports and casino games. The odds are also competitive at best, and the offers and bonuses are among the best in the market.
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Casumo is one of the betting sites that’s fully customized for the Indian market. The user experience is on another level, thanks to a seamless mobile app, super-fast deposits, and withdrawals, as well as an enthusiastic customer support team.
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Some of the perks of using 22Bet include the large selection of live betting options and the many deposit methods such as Skrill, UPI, Paytm, Neteller, etc. The live chat feature for customer support is another plus.
ComeOn is a reputed online betting site that offers an incredible selection of sports and betting options as well as a ton of table games. The payment methods are great, and with deposit options such as Skrill, Netbanking, and Neteller, this site offers much-needed convenience. Promotions, offers, and bonuses are impressive; however, you’ll have to work hard to meet the high wagering requirements.
The above betting sites are just a few of the many options in the market that are reputable and trusted by several bettors and casino lovers across India. If you are to pick one from the options above, be keen to compare and contrast the selection features we mentioned earlier on.
FAQ About Online Betting In India
Is betting legal in India?
Yes. There are no specific gambling rules that prohibit online betting in India. However, some states allow offline betting and gambling, while others prohibit gambling on games of chance but allowing betting on games of skills.
Can I bet online on cricket in India?
Yes. Cricket betting is popular in India, and all betting sites serving the Indian market are keen to prioritize this sport over others. While offline or physical betting on any sport is illegal in certain parts of India, online betting is much alive, and most people, even those in states that have legalized betting, will still prefer to bet online, thanks to the competitive odds and a variety of betting options.
What do I need to bet online in India?
To start betting online in India, you need to sign up with a betting site, deposit some money, select your favorite sports to bet on, and place the wager. You can also withdraw the winnings made from the site without any hassle. That said, be keen to go through the site’s terms and conditions on how to wager bonuses and free bets.
How do I choose the best online betting site in India?
To choose the best online betting site in India, pay attention to the site’s reputation, betting options, user experience, customer support, bonuses, and deposit and withdrawal methods.
Legal betting India: Summary and Key Takeaways
India’s online betting and gambling are unregulated, and therefore it’s not an offense to bet online on sports such as cricket and horse racing or casino games such as roulette. In other words, online sports betting and casino gambling are two gray areas. Another thing to keep in mind is that India allows its states to determine their own gambling and betting laws and as a result, several states allow betting and gambling activities. That said, there are also several legal online casinos in India, which, however, do not operate from Indian soil.