News Karnataka
Thursday, February 29 2024

Is Betting Legal in the Indian state of  Karnataka?

cricket stadium
Photo Credit : Unsplash

IPL 2022 had several ads showing up on many online sports betting apps. But the question is if sports betting is legal in India and if yes, which states?

According to the Public Gambling Act of 1867, gambling is prohibited in public houses in India. There is a flaw in this law because there is no mention of anything about online betting. So people have found their way to bet legally online in India. The central government has authorized the state governments to set betting laws for their states. Currently, Goa, Daman and Sikkim are the three states where online betting is legal in India.

Most states have chosen to allow skill-based games such as horse racing or card games, which require the skill of the players to win. For other states, people can place bets using Indian betting apps which are provided by global bookmakers that have their headquarters outside India and accept Indian rupees.

Games that do not require any skill from the players, such as roulette or lottery etc. are not considered legal in India.

Is Betting Legal in Karnataka?

If we talk of Karnataka specifically in 2021, the Karnataka government came up with a bill under Karnataka Police Act that said “Gaming for profit will be banned whether it is played on a mobile application or on a computer which is located within the confines of a person’s home or at any cyber cafe.”

However the Karnataka High Court on Feb. 14, 2022 struck down the contentious provisions of the Karnataka Police Act that dealt with online gambling as unconstitutional, providing a major relief to the skill-based gaming firms that had shut down operations in the state.

So currently the situation is that online betting is legal in Karnataka as far as all the conditions for betting on games of skill are fulfilled.

The Trajectory of Online Betting in India

The global sports betting industry is predicted to increase at a CAGR of ~10% from 2020 to 2025. Sports betting generated $57.22 billion in handle and $4.29 billion in revenue, in 2021 — jumps of 165% and 177% over 2020 respectively.

The legal sports betting industry in India is estimated to be worth over $2 billion and is projected to be worth over $112 billion in the next four years. The online betting industry in India is growing at a rapid rate of 20% per year, and most of this growth is in the space of cricket. The cricket betting market is gonna continue to grow rapidly over the next 5-10 years. Easy availability of mobile devices, cheap internet connection, availability of betting apps in Hindi or Indian languages, digital payment wallets such as UPI, Paytm, Google Pay, etc. have all contributed to making online betting easy for people.

But now the central government has called for a panel to regulate online skill games in India. Though the law will apply to online skill games but even if they are regulated by the government, there is a very high possibility that soon the betting industry might also grow in the Indian market. The new regulations can bring regulatory clarity, certainty and regulated investments for the sector. However,  this is a very complicated decision and no conclusion can be drawn at this time.

Photo by Aheart on Unsplash

Note: Newskarnataka advises its readers to be aware of, and comply with all locally applicable laws and regulations in this regard.

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