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India Opening up to the Internet Based Gambling Industry

The online gambling industry has grown in leaps and bounds in many different parts of the world, and mobile gaming has expanded particularly fast over the past few years. India is a market that is opening up fairly late and extremely slowly to this industry but it is expected to make up for the lost time. The buying power of the immense middle class of this country combined with the spread of internet and mobile use is expected to drive the growth of the gambling industry in this vast nation. As a matter of fact, India is expected to race ahead of other smart phone markets and become the third largest one by 2017, and this will have a powerful effect on the growing online wagering industry.

Gambling has always been a popular activity in India, and most parts of the country have their own traditional forms of wagering. It is a fact that Indians are increasingly taking to internet based betting as a form of entertainment thanks to the presence of many offshore gambling operations that cater to this market. However, it has to be noted that there is no clear picture about the laws concerning gambling in this country. This makes it quite tough to predict whether the industry will indeed develop along expected lines.

The Constitution of India gives each state the right to make its own laws, and this includes the contentious question of gambling. While there isn’t any clear law against online gambling in any state other than Maharashtra, the lack of clarity is a major problem that gambling operators have to deal with. Indians who are keen to gamble online therefore have plenty of options available to them, thanks to the plethora of offshore operators that cater to this market. Indians can also gamble for free thanks to the many free pay options available these days. In fact, even people living in the state of Maharashtra can gamble online for free as long as there is no real money transaction involved.

Gamblers based in India are advised to join casinos that are licensed by reputed international online gambling regulatory bodies even if these licenses are not valid in the country, as indeed most are, where they can play popular games such as Double Bubble slots. This will at least assure them that the site in question is well run and that their money is in good hands. The biggest risk associated with playing on unregulated sites (which have very attractive promotions) is that one can fall victim to online scammers.

Legality of the industry apart, there are quite a few important questions concerning the future of online gambling in India. The first issue that comes to mind is the difficult associated with making deposits and withdrawals. Traditional banking methods are particularly slow, and therefore Indians who gamble on the internet tend to make use of a number of eWallet services. The tax on gambling winnings is also pretty high here, and Indians can expect to pay 30% of their winnings as taxes according to Section 115BB of the Income Tax Act.