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Online betting has become increasingly popular over the last decade in India and with increasing access to online facilities and sports coverage, it is a hugely popular past-time for many of the countries residents and is particularly prominent with those in their early 20s. Many Indians are massive sports fans and follow a number of different leagues and competitions throughout the season.
Sport Betting in India
Online betting is constantly developing but it is a huge industry which is enjoying a resurgence in India. There is an increasing demand for sports betting opportunities and many have reacted to this boom.
Is Online Betting Legal in India?
There is no law which states that it is illegal to place sports bets in India. Similar to the USA, there are grey areas when it comes to placing wagers online but it is perfectly legitimate.
The law dictates that skill games such as cards can be enjoyed freely but some lawmakers don’t believe that sports betting is technical enough. However, firms from UK and Europe have targeted Indian users and companies such as Bet365 have recently expanded their operations to the country. They are regulated by UK law and therefore, it is perfectly acceptable for Indian users to sign up for an account. They have a number of markets and sporting events which will appeal to bettors in India.
Public gambling was made illegal in 1867 and this is still in place however it is rarely enforced. There have been no known prosecutions for sports bettors, many of whom are able to do this in the comfort of their own home.
There is still some confusion surrounding the online gambling laws in India as it is still a relatively new phenomenon but it is perfectly legal to sign up for an account and begin wagering.
What Sports are Popular in India?
There are a number of sports which are extremely popular in India. Cricket is largely regarded as the number one sport in the country and there are hundreds of cricket markets priced up on a weekly basis. Formula 1, football, kabbadi and tennis are also extremely popular. There have been an increased number of Indian tennis players competing on the ATP and WTA tours in recent years and that is a major part of the reason for the sports increased popularity.
The Indian horse racing scene has also come on leaps and bounds in recent years and there are a number of tracks such as Hydrabad and Pune who host regular race-days with decent sized prize pots for the winners. Betting sites such as Bet365 will have every race priced up 24 hours in advance of the meeting getting underway.
Football is very popular with many Indian residents following the Premier League and La Liga. Broadcasters show the majority of matches live, despite them often taking place at unsociable times. Badminton and Field Hockey are extremely popular past-times in India but they don’t have as big a following when it comes to betting.
Cricket is still the most popular sport and attracts plenty of bets on a daily basis. A lot of money has been invested in the sport in recent years and the advent of the IPL has certainly helped get the country excited about the sport. The IPL is the most-wagered event (around 80% of all bets) in the country although other tournaments such as the Big Bash, Twenty20 and Test Matches aren’t far behind.
Popular Betting Markets in India
There are plenty of different betting markets available for Indian bettors. Cricket is the most wagered sport yet there are fewer markets available compared to football or tennis.
This remains the most popular bet across all sports. It is simply a case of predicting which of the two participants will emerge victorious. It is often abbreviated to 1X2 and there are usually three different outcomes. In individual head-to-head sports such as tennis and badminton, there are just two outcomes and this results in shorter prices and more restrictive odds on this market.
To Win the Toss
Exclusive to cricket, this is a simple 50/50 bet and the odds often reflect that. Punters are required to predict which of the two sides win the toss and therefore get the choice of whether to bat first or second.
Totals / Overs and Unders
This is a bet which takes various forms and is a great way of having a bet without predicting the outcome of the match. In Soccer, it is often set at Under/Over 2.5 Goals whilst in cricket, it will focus on the total number of runs. Many bettors like to bet Overs as they like the idea of an entertaining contest however, it is sometimes advised to look for cagey, close contests which could go the other way.
Draw No Bet
This is a less risky way of placing a wager. Shorter odds are available on this market but money is returned if the game finishes all-square. This is often used when backing a narrow outsider and is a safer way of wagering.
Top Team Batsman/Top Team Bowler
Cricket betting has many markets but this is one of the most popular ways of playing. Predicting which player will finish as his team’s highest run scorer is a great way of betting and can still land even if said team is defeated. Look for players on decent runs of form and focusing on the batting order can also be extremely helpful.
A market which can be applied to both football and hockey. Bettors are required to predict which player will score the opening goal and break the deadlock. Decent odds are usually available on this market.
Types of Bet
Accumulator – A multiple bet which is popular around the world. The accumulator allows players to dream of winning big for small stakes. These allow players to place a number of selections into one big bet and if all of the individual components are successful, your accumulator will land. These apply for any sports and players can choose to mix their sports. Many betting firms will offer incentives and additional bonuses for players who place large accumulators on a regular basis. These are also popular with racing fans.
Single – The simplest of all the bet. This is just one selection which requires one stake. Those who bet big usually place singles as there is far less risk involved.
Doubles/Trebles – Easier to land than accumulators but they still come with a small risk attached. All two/three selections must win in order for bettors to secure a return.
Popular Payment Methods in India
Most sportsbooks in India offer a large number of different deposit methods. Every bettor will have different needs when it comes to online sports betting and the majority of these betting sites will cater for their customers.
Credit/Debit cards are the most popular way of funding accounts and they are incredibly easy to use. Transaction are quick and easy and users can decide whether to store their card details online for their next deposit. Withdrawals are also available using this method.
A number of e-wallets are also available such as Skrill and Neteller and these have become increasingly popular over the past few years. These allow players to move money between accounts online with ease. There are occasionally small charges for using these online wallets but every firm is different and it’s always best to check beforehand.
IDebit, Trustly and Maestro Debit are other potential methods of depositing whilst bank transfers are another popular option.
Sign Up Bonuses in India
Bookmakers offer a number of tempting incentives in order to attract players to join their service. Most of these will come in the form of a free bet or a matched deposit bonus. These help players top up their funds and these can be used on any sports betting markets or competitions.
In order to claim these free bets, players will often be asked to use a special code when they sign up for an account.