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Indian Sports Betting Laws

In India, the only federal law pertaining to gambling comes from 1867 and deals with gambling in bricks-and-mortar casinos or gaming parlours.  Online gambling laws are set at the state level.  This makes the issue more complex than almost any other nation in the world as India has 29 states and 7 union territories.  For the most part, there is no regulation yet at the state-level with regard to the licensing of online gaming or betting.  Sikkim has become interested in potentially licensing online sportsbooks that want to do business with their citizens.  

No doubt the government of Sikkim has looked around the world and seen countries like Australia, France, Spain and Denmark where betting companies pay for licenses, create specialized sites for the respective countries’ citizens and remit taxes to the government.

The federal government has made online gambling difficult if not explicitly illegal by developing two laws that pertain to the kinds of transactions that Indians are allowed to have and by the kinds of websites that Internet Service Providers should be allowing through to the end users.   These are the Information Technology Act of 2000 and the Payment and Settlement Act of 2007   

Information Technology Act of 2000

While the Act mainly pertains to issues regarding government security, hacking and cybercrimes, it also puts the onus and responsibility on Internet Service Providers to filter out content that the government finds objectionable or “obscene”.  This act is quite controversial and has been combated vigorously by various civil rights groups.  In some cases online gambling sites have been blocked.  Even in such cases, there are simple solutions to bypass these ISP blocking techniques through proxy servers.

Payment and Settlement Act of 2007

In short summary, this Act gives the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) an immense amount of power with regard to regulating all forms of electronic payment.  This affects your ability to bet because you of course need to deposit and withdraw funds to and from your online sports betting account.  So while the federal government may not have jurisdiction with regard to the letter of the law on gambling, this Payment and Settlement Act essentially overlaps onto the sphere of gambling as the RBI can choose to limit how and with whom these payment systems may work.  To this point, the legislation has only partially affected Indians with some usage of credit cards and bank transfers failing when directed toward reputable online sportsbooks companies.  This has led to the popularity within the Indian public of e-wallet providers such as Skrill (Moneybookers) that allow Indians to move money more freely for the purposes of sports betting

 

These top sports betting sites operate lawfully offshore & accept Indian players

About our listed sportsbooks:

When most online sportsbooks get reviewed, the reviewing site operates in a grey area.  They tend to list as many betting sites as possible and always try to include the brands that have targeted themselves to your particular market.  The review site will often include a high grade or rating for each site to encourage your play.  Every one of the reviewed sites will get a rating that equates to 80% or higher.  However, the review never mentions why one particular site got such a high grade, nor do they mention why one site is 5-stars, and another is 4-stars.

Other review sites operate in this way because they don’t actually care where you decide to play.  Their real goal is to list as many sites as possible, usually the ones whose brands are already established in your country, in this case India, and hope that you will recognize a brand you know, will see the positive rating and start playing.

Sports Betting India reviews sportsbooks with a different philosophy.  As you can see from the list at left, several of the biggest names that target the Asian market are not listed.  The list only includes the most reputable sites that exist outside Asia to provide Indians with a layer of security as opposed to sites based within India that might be at risk to closure by local authorities.  

Unlike other review sites, this site is not interested in listing sites with which you are familiar but have a poor reputation or leave your deposits at risk.  The sites listed are truly the best group of sportsbooks for the Indian bettor.

Legal Indian Betting Sites

Unibet, headquartered in Sweden, provides amazing coverage of sports betting, especially with their coverage of cricket.  If you like a breadth of sports, Unibet must be considered heavily. Find a new customer offer for Indian players, plus Rupee accounts.  Read the full Unibet India review here

Go!

MarathonBet, established in 1997 has exploded in popularity with sponsorships of top English & Spanish football clubs.  They often offer the highest odds for all sports including cricket, with tons of ways to bet. Unique AdvanceBets let you unlock the value of unsettled bets toward new ones, even a zero balance.  Read the MarathonBet India review here

Go! Go!

Betway serves over 2 million account holders world-wide and offer a beautiful interface with an excellent mobile platform.  Like most top betting sites, they also offer an early cash out feature.  Betway offers great cricket & football betting with a new customer offer just for Indian players.  Long-time sponsor of West Ham United FC. Read the Betway India review here

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bet365 covers cricket & football comprehensively in terms of the number of available leagues, ODIs & betting markets. They have the most intuitive interfaces for mobile and desktop and they constantly innovate with the most advanced features for bettors.  Lots of banking methods are available for Indian bettors.  Read the bet365 India review

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One of the world’s premier online casinos also offers a top-notch online sports betting service which is great for Indians - they have an offer for 6000 INR free bet offer. Online since 2001, Spin Palace offer solid odds and a great sign up bonus.  Read the Spin Palace Sports India review.

Go! Go!

BetVictor has has been in business since 1946.  Known around the world for the most competitive football odds, BetVictor also covers cricket comprehensively with every competition available for wagering, and a vast array of betting markets.  Official partner of Liverpool FC.  Read the full BetVictor India review here

888sport is one of the oldest names in online sports betting, in business since 1997 and traded on the LSE. 888 is specially targeted to World cricket fans as demonstrated by their spokesperson, a former great Australian bowler.  If cricket is your game, 888sport is a fantastic option with many available banking methods.  Read the full 888sport India review here

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Do the Indian sports betting laws have any teeth?

All the examples that can be found in the press or media show that the laws only truly affect those that hope to profit from the business of bookmaking by operating gambling operations within India.  In other words, people in India that participate in online sports betting have not been prosecuted for this activity in this fashion.

So from your perspective as a consumer, the risk of legal trouble is very small if not zero.  Those that already enjoy online sports betting in India speak about and profess to go about their betting in discrete fashion, in private.