It can come as a surprise to learn that gambling is a popular pastime for many Indians. Gambling is not legal in much of India, though this does vary by state. The Public Gambling Act of 1867 was passed to govern gambling in India, but each state is free to impose its own laws, limitations and restrictions on gambling within state borders. A few states, including the popular tourist destination of Goa, along with Daman and Sikkim, have legalized casino gambling, but in most of India, casino gambling is still illegal.
However, many Indian gamblers are able to access online casinos, and although this may be a gray area, legally speaking, they will generally not face any repercussions as the Indian government does not have any authority to act against foreign online casino operators. Consequently, many people in India gamble using online casinos and mobile apps for fun, entertainment, and profit.
How do Indian casino players like to gamble?
As we have already mentioned, land-based casinos are not legal in most states, so many Indian gamblers play at online casinos and via mobile apps. It has been estimated that the online gambling market across India is likely to reach a value of around US$9,164.42m by the end of 2027, with the potential growth of the market mainly being attributed to the surge in online gambling and the growing use of mobile devices for gambling activities in the region.
There are many advocates for legalizing casino gambling in India, using the very pertinent argument that this would allow revenue from gambling to remain in the country, boosting the economy and providing tax revenue, rather than going to foreign operators. Many consider that legal casinos and sports betting (in a country where many are obsessed with major international sporting events) would be a positive thing, fiscally.
For now, however, online gamblers in India have little choice but to patronize overseas casino and sports betting operators if they want to enjoy a few casino games or place a wager on a sporting event. They do, of course, face the same problem as anyone from a country where gambling is not commonly permitted – that of actually finding a reputable casino site that accepts customers from India.
The rules around who can sign up at online casinos will often depend on regulations within the country in which the casino is based. In the US, for example, often you are unable to even sign up at a casino if you are in a different US state, never mind another country. It is common for casino sites to restrict access to customers from certain countries, especially if the gambling laws and regulations in that country are very different from where the casino is based.
Many would argue that there is no real need for this, given that the Indian government has no power over foreign companies and cannot impose any consequences on them for offering gambling services to Indians. This is doubtless the reason that while some international casinos will not accept players from India, there are also many that will. Offshore casinos, which sometimes tend to have more lax rules and regulations, often welcome players from all over the world.
How do Indian casino players prefer to place bets?
Once an Indian citizen has found a casino that they are happy with, and that is happy to allow them to sign up, the next issue is how they will actually place their bets. A potential problem is that Indian banks may not allow customers to deposit cash to gambling websites due to gambling being an illegal activity within the country.
There are numerous ways to get around this as an Indian gambler. For example, most international casinos allow players to deposit funds into their accounts via third-party payment processors such as PayPal, Skrill and Neteller. It is also often possible to use a variety of e-wallets, and at some venues you can deposit cryptocurrencies such as Bitcoin and Ethereum.
Certainly, Indian gamblers will struggle to find any online casinos or mobile apps that allow for gambling using the Indian rupee, so they will generally need to convert their funds into a foreign currency that is acceptable to the casino they choose. The most popular currencies at such venues are USD, GBP or EUR. At crypto casinos, the digital currencies you are most likely to be able to use are Bitcoin and Ethereum, though other altcoins may well be accepted.
In addition, while the average salary has been rising in India in recent years, it is still well below salaries in first-world countries, so this will also impact how Indian gamblers place wagers in online casinos. The combination of a lower income, combined with the fact that deposits will need to be handled carefully, via third-party processors, and converted into other currencies, may dictate how Indian players like to place wagers.
This may mean, for example, that Indian players prefer to try their luck at low-deposit casinos that allow them to get started with a relatively small financial commitment. It may also make them more likely to search for features such as matched deposit bonuses, no deposit bonuses, free spins offers, and any other perks that will make their gambling funds go just that little bit further. This is not exclusive to players from India, of course. Many gamblers all over the world like to find casino bonuses that will help them make the most of their gambling funds.
Indian gamblers are much like any other gambler. They want to find the best online casinos that meet their needs, accept players from their country, and make it easy for them to deposit money into their online casino accounts. Casino bonuses, preferably with realistic wagering requirements, are also a big advantage. Luckily, many online casinos and gambling apps are happy to welcome Indian players and make their online gambling experience a fun and safe one.