The IPL 2021’s opening weekend has seen the expected levels of enthusiasm and excitement from the country, and the most anticipated cricket season has finally begun in full swing. And as has been the case for many years, sports betting is going to be at an all-time high for the next couple of months.
India is home to a vast network of bookies that operate an entire betting industry on the down-low, enjoying the benefits of a largely illegal and unregulated market. However, these past couple of years, online betting sites have emerged as comparatively safer alternatives to the illegal businesses of bookies in India.
As opposed to physical gambling houses (which are banned in most Indian states, as per the Public Gambling Act of 1867), online betting sites exist outside the purview of Indian law. While a couple of states like Tamil Nadu have gone ahead and formally banned IPL betting sites, most Indian states do not have any legislation that addresses the existence of betting websites. This being the case, most Indians have begun to freely enjoy the use of these betting operators to enjoy playing IPL satta.
Since online betting has claimed the support of a convenient legal loophole, it cannot be considered illegal in India, making it comparatively safer from illegal bookies, who are often caught thanks to police crackdowns around the time of the IPL every year.
But apart from the obvious legal benefit, what are some other reasons that online betting sites are growing a lot more in popularity?
- Easily available smartphones
The first and foremost reason for the rise of online betting would be the easy access to smartphones in India. With cheaper and more efficient models of smartphones flooding the Indian market, almost every person is equipped with a smartphone.
Even the economically challenged classes, that previously lacked access to mobile technology, are now sporting the latest models of smartphones from Samsung or Xiaomi.
2. Cheap data packs
Thanks to Reliance Jio, India saw an entire movement of cheaper data packs and internet plans in the last few years. With better technology such as 4G available for throwaway prices, most people now have uninterrupted access to the internet!
With that, comes the introduction to many new forms of entertainment such as real-money gaming apps as well as IPL betting platforms.
3. Widely used digital payments
India was late to the digital payment party but has certainly done its utmost to catch up. Thanks to the NPCI and its innovative digital payment solutions such as UPI and IMPS, most people find it super simple and convenient to tap a couple of buttons and make payments online.
The need for a bookie has definitely gone down, since most people can now sign up on a betting site directly, without having to bother with illegal cash dealings.
4. The Covid-19 pandemic
It might be weird to think of Covid-19 as one of the reasons that online betting has gone up in popularity. However, the pandemic has certainly provided a useful context to the rise of online betting in India.
Even during IPL 2021, when people are kept from going to the stadiums and enjoying matches in person, you can be sure that some of those disappointed fans may instead turn to IPL betting to enjoy their favorite sport in the most immersive way possible.