Google’s Play store has rejected most real-money gambling apps in the past, but this year, they’ve approved several casinos and sports betting site apps around the world – with India being the exception.
Currently, most cell phone company app stores in India have banned gambling and sports betting apps in accordance with gambling laws. Google in particular has revised their rules in regards to cash betting apps in response to national laws on gambling. They’ve now added 15 countries to the list allowing citizens to download and use mobile casino and sportsbook apps. However, as India’s federal government is torn on the legality of online gambling, Google has left India out.
Current Legal Situation for Sports Betting Apps
India’s laws around online gambling are shifting from state to state, but federal laws made against gambling were written in the 1800s and never updated. The federal government has left it to individual states to regulate gambling and unfortunately, many have not. Sports betting has a large history as Indians have loved to bet on cricket and horse racing for centuries. Currently, betting sites in India operate somewhat legally – there are licensed European and American bookie websites that citizens can use in states where sports betting has been left unregulated.
According to The Hindu, “In India, gambling games have received scrutiny due to which multiple states have banned these apps. Recently, Paytm and Paytm First Games were temporarily blocked for allegedly allowing sports betting and daily fantasy sports.”
At the same time, the gambling industry in India is said to be worth $100 billion each year, according to some sources. In countries where gambling is legal, they can regulate and tax companies, adding to their overall GDP. This is not the case here.
The only states in India to make laws allowing gambling and sports betting are Goa, Daman, and Sikkim. Most recently, the territory of Tamil Nadu was asked to make laws regulating gambling and although many thought they would finally legalize it, the government went the other way, banning gambling instead.
The Future of Sports Betting Online
Although the recent news from Tamil Nadu was not great for gambling fans, there is still hope that the country may finally revisit its laws and legalize sports betting permanently. Considering the shape of the economy after the recent pandemic, more government officials are now talking about legalizing gambling as a way to improve the overall GDP.
A recent survey found that 40 percent of India’s internet users say they specifically use the internet for sports betting. Going by this information, Minister of State for Finance and former president of the Board of Crick Control, Anurag Thakur has spoken out about his desire to push the rest of his colleagues into legalizing sports betting, although his motivation is a little different.
Thakur is concerned with match-fixing, which can easily be fixed through regulation. “Betting can be an effective tool to curb match-fixing, which is why we need to consider the possibilities of legalizing it,” says Thakur.
As India’s gambling laws change, citizens may finally be able to catch up with the rest of the world.