As the global online gambling industry continues to generate huge revenue, many countries are moving towards liberalizing the industry.
Online gambling continues to be a very polar subject, but regardless of whether you think it is right or wrong, the simple truth is that it is here to stay.
Back in the day, when gambling was essentially land-based, it was easier to create anti-gambling laws and track offenders, but the advent of sports betting and online casino sites has made it practically impossible to enforce such regulations.
According to Mycasino.in, a website that ranks and reviews online casinos in India, millions of Indians play online casino games on a daily basis.
What is the point in prohibiting gambling when people are still going to bet online anyway? Countries with strict anti-gambling laws end up being the biggest losers, with foreign betting sites and online casinos carting away potential revenue.
The United States has been easing gambling restrictions in recent years, with the government giving each state free hands to determine their own gambling laws. It is safe to say that the states have been embracing the concept of online gambling.
Since the Supreme Court lifted a federal ban on sports betting in 2018, over 40 states have either legalized the act or have plans in motion to make betting legal.
Isn't it time for India to follow suit and liberalize its own gambling industry?
Gambling laws in India are outdated, vague and unclear. The central law is the Public Gaming Act of 1867, which prohibits the operations of land-based gaming houses, but it says nothing about online gambling.
The Indian constitution of 1950 gave each state the power to make its own gambling laws, but only Goa, Sikkim and Daman have moved away from the restrictions of the Public Gaming Act. Even in these states where gambling is permitted, there exists some serious roadblocks in the law. For example, the casinos in Goa are only open to foreigners.
While the Indian government drags its feet over gambling laws, Indian gamblers are already playing on casino sites such as Pure Casino. These sites generate millions of dollars per year from Indian customers, money that could have gone into the Indian economy. It is time for India to wake up and start benefiting from the huge potentials in its gambling industry.
Gambling does have its bad side, as has been pointed out by detractors. It breeds addiction, which can lead to health and financial problems, and social vices, while there has been a strong argument that it encourages match-fixing. However, the pros of legalizing and liberalizing gambling outweigh the cons.
Through proper regulations and tax policies, the government will be able to pull in significant revenue from gambling sites. Local operators will also be freed up to run gaming houses and sites, which in turn creates more employment opportunities.
India needs to cast aside its archaic gambling laws and put new regulations in place so as to restore some order in the industry. At the moment, almost anything goes in India’s online gambling space. New sites are springing up all the time, without anyone regulating and monitoring their activities.
This exposes players to shady sites and gambling malpractices. There have been cases of underage gambling and fraudulent activities on some of these sites. Proper laws will put the operators in check, punish perpetrators and ultimately eliminate these vices.
Online gambling has been on the move in India, and it is showing no signs of slowing down. The factors are all in place for this sharp rise to continue. Technology is getting better all the time, internet has become more accessible and online payments are getting easier.
The government needs to make its move sooner rather than later.