The rise of online cricket betting in India – why is it all the rage?

Rohit Sharma

In recent years, online cricket betting has exploded in popularity across India. The convenience, accessibility, and variety offered by cricket betting sites have drawn in hordes of enthusiastic fans looking to place wagers on their favorite matches and players. 

Let’s explore the phenomenal surge of online cricket betting and what’s driving this growing craze.

History of cricket betting in India

Gambling in cricket matches has always been a common pastime in India. Whether placing friendly wagers among neighbors or more formal bets through local bookmakers, the appetite to punt on cricket is not new. 

However, the advent of smartphones and cheap mobile data opened up access to convenient digital betting platforms. Their user-friendly interfaces, range of bet types, bonuses, and promotions ignited mass interest in online cricket betting nationwide.

There are now plenty of online betting platforms accepting wagers from India including the likes of 10Cric, Parimatch, 1xBet, Mega Pari, and DafaBet. 

These online betting platforms usually have exciting promos in place every time a major cricket tournament match is on, like the Indian Premier League, the ICC Men’s World Cup, and even tournaments outside India like The Ashes.

Legal landscape – is cricket betting regulated in India?

Most forms of gambling are restricted or banned across individual Indian states. Despite a lack of clear federal laws, authorities have targeted providers of online betting. However, limitations on using payment gateways or advertising haven’t stemmed the demand for betting platforms.

The mushrooming offshore betting sites allow Indian bettors to bypass barriers. While they do offer convenience, local punters need to be mindful of the platforms they choose. After all, betting on offshore apps means that they aren’t protected by local laws to ensure their safety.

However, it’s worth noting that there are states in India that are moving towards banning online betting activities. For example, the states of Assam, Telangana, and Andhra Pradesh have explicitly banned online gambling and betting. Violators are subject to fines and imprisonment. 

The jurisdictions that have enforced strict prohibitions have done so due to concerns over protecting vulnerable groups. While good intentions are there, there’s this issue that a blanket ban can drive demand for illegal underground betting which can be more dangerous.

This is why calls to introduce centralized regulation around online betting are growing.  

Having regulations would cover licensing online betting operators, implementing responsible gambling policies, player verification, and taxation. This could instead promote safe gambling practices which is something that other countries like the United Kingdom have. 

A closer look at the cricket craze in India

Cricket borders on religion for many Indians today.  Fans revel in combining their fanatical support with having some skin in the game. This intrinsic bond Indians have with cricket expands the target audience for cricket betting apps and sites exponentially. 

Cricket has one of the busiest calendars which also means endless wagering opportunities for fans.

With nail-biting T20 leagues like the IPL having celebrities owning teams, the entertainment quotient around Indian cricket soars. Even those not traditionally sports fans are drawn into its spectacle. 

Responsible gambling measures

Now, we can’t deny that the convenience of online betting opens the door to addiction if adequate responsible gambling measures aren’t applied. 

The good thing is that legitimate betting apps and sites offer safeguards like deposit limits, timeout options, and links to problematic gambling resources. Most of them also require players to be ID verified to ensure that they only get to offer their services to people of legal age. 

However, more can still be done to promote informed, balanced gambling habits. Government policy has a role but social awareness campaigns highlighting risks are equally important. 

Individual responsibility, moderation, and understanding of addiction behaviors can help curb harmful issues emerging alongside cricket betting’s growth in India.

Conclusion – what is ahead

There is a special appeal in merging India’s national passion with the thrill of real money wagering. It’s also true that online cricket betting empowers supporters to become even more invested participants in the sport they love. 

With cautious regulation instead of knee-jerk reactions, safe but thriving online betting ecosystems can be developed. Whether that’s a route the whole of India will take is still something we have to wait and see. 

The bottom line is that responsible gambling and consumer protection must be prioritized amidst its frenetic growth. Especially since we are still expecting online cricket betting to continue to be popular in India in the coming years.