India’s love affair with cricket is no secret. This sport has a rich history in the country as it was brought by the British people in the 1700s. It’s been part of the Indian culture for a long time and will most likely continue to do so in the future.
BARC India reported in 2018 that over 90% of the Indian population follows cricket and with the popularity of this sport also comes a big interest in cricket betting. So, aside from watching and streaming minor and major cricket events, fans also check for today match prediction for betting.
Cricket Betting in Numbers
Last year, MyBetting reported that the sports betting market has grown 20% compared to the previous year. According to this report, around 370 million Indians would place bets on major sports events like the Indian Premier League, ICC’s T20 World Cup, and more.
Meanwhile, it is estimated that 140 million would place bets regularly. Over 35 sports betting sites are also offering services in India and among the most popular bookies here are Bet365, 1xBet, 10CRIC, Parimatch, and Betway.
They also found that sports betting is most popular in the states of Telangana, Karnataka, and Maharashtra. Telangana has 18.7% of the country’s population while Karnataka has 13.2% and Maharashtra has 9.6%.
Around 80 to 90% of the country’s betting population are placing bets on cricket online. Thanks to banking solutions like UPI, Paytm, and PhonePe, online gambling transactions are easier in India.
When it comes to gender, 88.4% of the betting population are males and 11.6% are females. 44.6% of these are aged between 18 and 24. Meanwhile, 32.5% of online punters are aged 25 to 34 years old.
Overall, the report suggests that the estimated gambling market in India has an annual revenue of around 60 million USD each year. However, since underground betting is still prominent in India, it’s hard to gauge the actual amount that the local industry is gaining yearly.
Is Cricket Betting Legal in India?
With all those numbers, it’s undeniable how popular cricket betting has become in the country. However, is it even legal in the first place?
Well, online gambling in India, in general, is still in the gray area when laws are regarded. Until today, the law that regulates gambling in the country is the Public Gaming Act of 1862. Since this was passed before the digital era, there was no mention of online gambling activities.
Even the Information Technology Act of 2000 has no mention of this. That said, the locals are still free to place bets online without getting into any trouble.
Last year, with the explosion of cricket betting, some states attempted to implement a ban on online gaming activities. These are the states of Karnataka and Tamil Nadu. The law amendments they had in place, however, didn’t last long.
Eventually, the High Courts struck these amendments down and deemed the ban on online gaming unconstitutional.
“The provisions of Sections 2, 3, 6, 8 & 9 of the Karnataka Police (Amendment) Act 2021 is declared to be ultra vires of the Constitution of India in their entirety and accordingly are struck down,” according to the High Court.
“In the considered view of this court, the impugned legislative action that has clamped an absolute embargo on all games of skill defies the principle of proportionality and is far excessive in nature and therefore violates Article 14 of the Constitution on the ground of manifest arbitrariness,” the Bench also explained.
They also went on and said, “In the considered view of this court, the impugned legislative action that has clamped an absolute embargo on all games of skill defies the principle of proportionality and is far excessive in nature and therefore violates Article 14 of the Constitution on the ground of manifest arbitrariness.”
The court, overall, saw that this move is far excessive. They also restrained the local government from interfering with the online gaming business and allied activities until they at least construe appropriate legislation about betting and gambling that is by the Constitution.
“The Amendment Act suffers from the infirmity of this kind since Section 2(7) which encompasses all games, regardless of [the] skill involved, renders the charging provisions of the Principal Act so vague that the men of common intelligence will not be in a position to guess at its true meaning and differ as to [the scope] of its application and therefore, is liable to be voided.”
Tamil Nadu also had to go through with the same thing last year. Both local governments still emphasized that they will find a solution to keep their locals safe from the risks of online gaming activities including cricket betting.