Navigating the Legality of Cricket Betting in India

cricket player

Cricket is undoubtedly the most popular sport in India, and Pakistan too! Millions of people always follow cricket matches in India with great enthusiasm. The enthusiasm of millions of people clearly fosters huge economic opportunities, including how it affects sports gambling.

Cricket betting in India varies with the matches. The first falls into a gray area and the second is completely legal. There is a complex legality issue and it is influenced by many factors; nature of the bet, location of the bettor, local jurisdiction, and more.

The question of the legality of cricket betting in India always comes to the fore. That is why this article was written because we want to bring you to an understanding which of course has a basis, namely the General Gambling Act and the Indian Penal Code. These two laws are the basis for determining whether a sports bet can be considered legal in India.

Understanding the Legal Landscape Regarding Sports Betting in India Is the First Step

cricket playing

Sports betting has long been legal in India, referring to betting on horse races. Cricket betting is not yet among the sports bets that are considered legal. However, the problem is bigger than that because of the massive presence of online gambling platforms in the last ten years.

While betting on cricket matches is generally considered illegal, the online version can be accessed by anyone with almost no restrictions. However, there is always concern about whether these forms of fraud can be completely prevented. If an online platform is unregulated, is it really safe to bet through it? This is one of the most basic questions about online betting.

However, the Indian people’s enthusiasm for cricket trumps everything, in fact, there is always an increasing trend of bettors on online cricket betting platforms in India. We can take the increase in the number of players at the best betting site in India as an example.

General Gambling Act

india gambling

This is the first reference when we will discuss the legality of gambling in India. The law passed in 1867, prohibited any gambling activity except in a few states. Even then, only betting on horse racing is permitted. The law was created to prevent the negative impact of gambling on India’s complex society.

Unfortunately, the law has not been adapted to “today’s online phenomena”. Online bookmakers have long left their conventional counterparts behind in terms of turnover. Thus, the lack of clarity in online betting regulations is certainly ironic because the largest gambling income is actually obtained from online betting.

Legal Vacuum

Legal vacancies always encourage illegal activities and in the gambling industry, that means an increase in illegal gambling activities. Illegal activities always bring problems and losses at the same time. Illegal platforms always do not contribute anything to the government, in this case, India.

Recommendations of The Law Commission of India

Finally, the Law Commission of India stepped in by recommending the legalization and regulation of forms of sports betting in India. The commission based its recommendations on the fact that if managed legally, the sports betting industry in India could generate huge revenues for India and at the same time, create many jobs and reduce “gambling mafias”.

In fact, these recommendations are yet to be implemented on the ground, and still, much of online sports betting in India remains in a gray area. For bettors, the onslaught of online sports betting platforms provides many benefits but on the other hand, the lack of legality always poses risks. This condition has been widely complained about by bettors in India from various backgrounds.

What About the Indian Penal Code?

indian penal code

It has been mentioned above that the General Gambling Act and the Indian Penal Code are the two bases for assessing the legality of gambling in India. The Indian Penal Code contains various provisions related to legal violations resulting from gambling.

It generally prohibits anyone within Indian jurisdiction from engaging in any form of gambling. It also emphasizes the criminal threat for anyone who violates it, a fine of Rs. 200, and a prison sentence of three months.

The Indian Penal Code also regulates criminal threats for bookies. However, just like the General Gambling Act, the Indian Penal Code continues to experience opposition regarding the growing popularity of online sports betting in India.

It can be described that in India, today, online cricket betting can be seen as something illegal but the fact is, more and more people are playing it on their smartphones. However, the situation seems to be getting better in the next few years as the Indian government is now starting to design some kind of regulatory framework that brings together all bookmakers and bettors in one transparent and legal gambling ecosystem.

With this development, many cricket betting fans hope that one day they will be able to bet on cricket matches in peace without worrying about the risk of being caught by the police. On the other hand, the Indian government will receive much more revenue from legal forms of gambling during this time.