How has Sports Betting shaped over the years in India?
Anyone who is aware of betting in Sports in India knows that it has a long history. Generally, it is assumed that since the start of the Indian Premier League, the shortest format of the game, betting has increased. But to the surprise of many, it was long before IPL came into existence that the practice was going on.
Sports betting in India started as early as the 15th century when people used to bet on races. Be it horse races or bull races. These were the activities that truly interested people. It continued for quite a while but was broken after the spirituality increased in India. The spirituality made people believe betting to be a cross against their path.
But a long after this happened and people were finding solutions for their free times, betting came back to India in the 18th century as Europeans brought cricket to India. Europeans were the once to introduce cricket to India and locals were ecstatic about participating in them and soon they became hugely popular.
But soon as a way of making money or exchanging necessities, people started to make teams and bet on them. It was only then when league competitions came into existence and the international community took note of it. It was then the idea of betting and the process of making money out of sports came into practice.
After it was exploited to the extent that people began taking extreme steps, the British colonists banned the practice in the country. It was 1867 when betting was made illegal in India. But with time, even though the restrictions increased, betters and bet makers started to come up with ways to illegally practice it.
The Indian government had then passed an Information Technology Act in 2000 which illegalised betting through the Internet too. As per this amendment, not only the companies executing the betting practice were fined but also the online bettor could receive up to $1,150 fine or they could also be jailed for it.
But against every stricter law than the previous one, technologies were exploited to make it easier for betters to bet on matches. There were ways by which IP addresses could be hidden so that authorities could not track them down.
Today, the government recognizes the financial aspects that will be harmed if betting is completely banned and hence has allowed gambling in states of Goa, Daman and Sikkim. Other than this, online and offline practices of betting are prohibited in the country.
As per a recent report by the International Centre for Sports Safety, there are 183 million people betting in India and the tota; market turnover is $130 billion. One of the best states that is regulating gambling practices in Sikkim. It is cricket that is the most talked about sport in the betting world. Over 80% bettings are done on this sport.