Active players: 183.094.118
Currency: Indian Rupee (INR)
Regulated gambling products: Lotteries, horse racing, games of skill, offline casino games
Operator types: State lotteries, land-based casinos in Goa, Sikkim and Daman & Diu, online betting sites operating without a permit
Designated authority: Law Commission of India - gambling is regulated on a state level
Status: Grey market - The state of Sikkim offers regulated online gambling
Gambling is an inextricable part of Indian culture, having been present on the subcontinent for more than three millennia. Despite numerous moral and religious condemnations from political and spiritual leaders, Indian local betting sites are flourishing, since Indians are avid bettors who massively enjoy wagering on sports and especially on cricket matches.
Estimates show that 48% of all adult males place a wager once every month; with 80% of all bets being placed on matches of major cricket leagues, such as the IPL. India's view on gambling might be considered as conservative by western standards. Nevertheless, significant steps have been made in terms of moving towards a more liberalized licensing system since 2018; when the Law Commission of India suggested the full regulation of online gambling.
Betting in India - 5 things to know
- No legal action has been taken against individuals who indulge in online betting
- Most credit card transactions to and from online betting sites are blocked
- 80% of all sports betting revenue is generated through cricket
- A new betting law was proposed in July 2018 that has yet to be put to vote
- Online betting is legal in the state of Sikkim since August 1, 2009
Best Indian Bookmakers
We gathered the top betting sites in India by narrowing the choice down to the ones that have high odds on cricket matches, offer local payments such as UPI/IMPS and accept the Rupee.
How to choose the best betting sites in India
If you're looking for the best online betting site in India then you should have in mind the following 5 criteria.
- Cricket: The top betting sites offer 100+ markets with more than 60 alternative bets at every match of top leagues such as the IPL or the CPL. Moreover, they have very competitive odds with 95%+ payout on pre-match and 90%-93%+ in the in-play section; as well as great bonuses on a weekly basis. Among the various Indian betting sites for cricket, the one that has emerged as the top is 22bet India.
- Live Streaming: It is a feature that all the top betting sites in India should have, especially when it comes to sports like cricket. Live streaming constitutes an integral part of a good live betting platform. It is very important to be able to watch the matches of the biggest competitions (like the Big Bash) while placing your bets. Bookies such as Bet365 and 1xBet offer games on live streaming daily even through your mobile phone.
- Rupees: Besides being really convenient, betting on bookies that allow you to fund your account by using the local currency is of mass importance. This is due to the fact that you don’t need to convert your Indian Rupees (INR) to foreign currency and worry about the conversion fees that are usually steep. International bookies, such as 22Bet and Betwinner, offer the rupee as a standard currency; making the whole transaction process much easier.
- Local Bank Transfer: When it comes to funding your account you should make sure that the bookie you consider picking up accepts local banking methods, such as Netbanking, PayTM, Phone or Skrill India. For instance, Bet365 offers bank transfer deposits via both payment processing systems.
- Promotions: Apart from great welcome bonuses, the top bookmakers should provide punters with daily offers and other excellent promotions on cricket matches of major competitions like The Ashes and the Marsh One Day Cup. 888sport though is the best bet site in India when it comes to Hero CPL T20 promos.
Online betting in India: The gambling law
Online betting is not regulated and is thus considered prohibited, according to the Public Gambling Act of 1867; that still remains to this day the main gambling law in India. From a legal point of view, gambling is currently legal only within the state of Sikkim.
More specifically, although betting is illegal at a central level, it is up to the states to interpret the betting laws in India the way they like; with online betting being legal exclusively in Sikkim since 2009. India is a thriving grey market for international operators. Local punters are free to choose among various non-licensed bookmakers that cater to the local market.
Is Betting Legal in India? Essential information for players
As mentioned above, online betting is still not legal in India. If you place a bet online, you are doing so without the government's consent. There is no need to worry though as, except for ISP and payment service provider blocks, no further measures have been taken. More specifically, no bettor has ever been prosecuted or convicted for gambling individually online.
Nevertheless, in recent years the authorities have become more active and there were some rare occasions of law enforcement. The most recent incident took place earlier in 2019 in Jaipur, where the local police arrested two men, part of an illegal gambling ring, for placing online bets on Betfair; by using a VPN in order to circumvent the geo-blocking measures imposed by the bookmaker.
The popular betting exchange has pulled away from the market, but there are still many international betting sites for Indian players, like 22Bet or Bet365. It is also worth noting that since India is still considered as a grey area in online betting, players do not have to pay a gambling tax on their winnings; as opposed to the offline 30.90% tax on horse racing.
Sports betting in India
Although betting in India might be far from perfect and still considered as non-legal, local punters remain passionate about sports. Online sports betting in India can easily be translated to cricket betting, as 80% of all wagers are placed on the IPL, the CPL, The Ashes and Big Bash. Football might not enjoy the same popularity, however, it’s on the rise, with 15% of total bets being placed on top leagues from around the globe. Furthermore, sports betting sites in India, such as Bet365 and 22Bet, offer bets on Kabaddi and horse racing which are both extremely popular among punters.
How to bet online in India
In case you’re wondering how to bet online in India, all you have to do is to follow the 4 simple steps below.
The first step is to register an account with your favourite bookie. The procedure is very simple and you can do it through your mobile, or on your desktop. First of all, click on the Sign-Up button to start creating your account. Then you should fill in your real name, surname and home address and a valid email; as in the near future, you're going to need it in order to withdraw your winnings. Also, remember to choose a username and a password that you should easily recall.
Once you have completed the registration process, you need to make a deposit in order to start placing your bets. You should find betting sites that accept local bank transfers and payments such as IMPS, UPI and RuPay. Other deposit methods with low fees that are popular among players are e-wallets like Skrill, Neteller, Webmoney and Ecopayz. Also don’t forget that the bookie you choose to register with should accept rupees, so as to avoid currency conversion that will cost you extra money.
As mentioned in step 1, you should use your real details. Most bookmakers ask for verification when you deposit a certain amount of money, or when you want to withdraw your winnings. The documents you will be asked to provide in order to complete the KYC process are, a copy of your ID, passport or driver's license, and a utility bill to verify your address. You can easily send them through email or upload them on the relevant section of your profile if the bookmaker supports it. The verification usually takes up to 24 hours. Also bear in mind that AADHAAR cards cannot be accepted to verify your account.
Withdrawals must be made through the same payment method you used in order to make your deposit. This is due to the fact that you might get hit with an exchange rate when trying to send money from an e-wallet to your bank. This means that you should either pick a payment method that lets you deal with Rupees, or at the very least, withdraw money on low foreign exchange rates. Bear in mind that, depending on the method you selected it takes a few minutes to receive your money and sometimes up to 3 business days.
The future of online betting in India
The future of betting online in India looks very promising, especially after the clear intention of the government to fully legalize it. More specifically, according to the 276th report of the country’s Law Commission that was released on July 5, 2018, gambling is set for a full regulation sooner rather than later.
Nonetheless, there still hasn’t been any significant development yet, although we believe that it’s only a matter of time. Besides, all parties involved will be benefited. Namely, the government will be able to gain significant tax revenue deriving from licensed operators and the market will attract more international brands, that will give players the opportunity to wager legally on their favourite sports.
Complete list of Indian local betting sites
Here you will find the full list of betting sites that accept Indian players.
Technically, all forms of gambling are considered illegal in India according to the Public Gambling Act of 1867. Nonetheless, the law is outdated and since it didn’t mention anything about online gambling, which wasn’t even invented back then, players are free to gamble online.
Finding a bookie that will allow you to deposit and withdraw in your local currency is of mass importance in case you wish to avoid currency conversion fees. Major international bookmakers such as 22Bet, 1XBet, Betwinner, Melbet and Royal Panda accept Indian Rupee (INR) transactions.
Hawala might slowly be fading away in favor of the Rupee, however there are still many Indians who enjoy transacting without money as it allows for more freedom. Hawala betting is still a thing in India, as many betting agents will allow hawala and ask for actual money only after they collect a large debt. It may sound tempting, as you practically bet without having to pay instantly. Nevertheless, Hawala betting is highly punishable by law and you might be forced to pay an extremely high fine and end up in jail. This is why we always advise bettors in India to use real money when wagering as this is the safest way of betting online.
Seeing that online betting has yet to be fully regulated, your options on fully local betting sites are unfortunately limited. In any case, we have extensive experience with international brands, such as 22bet, which we consider as the best betting site in India; since it offers high odds and a wide variety of markets when it comes to sports like cricket, Kabaddi and football.
Using a betting app makes online wagering so convenient, as all you gotta do is to own a mobile phone that can connect to the Internet. Bet365 provides the best betting app for Indian players as it offers a simple interface, quick navigation menu, cash out and live streaming of major sporting events.
Among the various Indian bookmakers there are major international brands that accept Hindi as a standard language. Namely, 22Bet, 1XBet, Betwinner and Melbet offer sportsbooks optimized in Hindi in order to cater the needs of every Indian punter.