The introduction of online sports betting has changed the way that sports fans all over the planet place their wagers. In terms of the Indian market, what do you need to know about sports betting before getting started?
The Legality of Sports Betting in India
While sports betting has traditionally been illegal in India, there is no specific law that stops Indians from using sites from other countries. This means that they can’t place bets with a local bookmaker or on a site that is based in the country, however, they can use an international betting site that offers its services in India.
There is some debate over whether we can expect sports betting to become fully legalized and regulated in the country, and with 40% of Indian internet users enjoying gambling there is a lot of support for it. For the moment, the number of Indians using international betting sites is growing and it seems likely to carry on in this way, as more and more people discover the convenience and variety offered by this approach.
As long as a site doesn’t list India as a restricted country, you can join it. If it is restricted in the country, you either won’t be able to open the website, or else it will flash up a warning when you try to open an account. The most reputable bookmakers are those that are properly licensed in highly-regulated countries like the UK or Malta.
What Are the Most Popular Sports?
It is no surprise to discover that cricket is among the sports that Indian fans most commonly bet on. As well as upcoming Indian Premier League matches, they can also put wagers on international games and matches in overseas leagues. Most sites that are aimed at Indian customers feature cricket heavily in their promotions or on their home page.
Soccer remains hugely popular too, with European leagues like the EPL, La Liga, and the Bundesliga usually among the main options on any betting site. The massive global appeal of this sport means that many bookmakers focus heavily on it and offer special deals for soccer fans.
You will see the world’s most popular sports on most betting websites, from basketball to tennis, golf and more. Interestingly, some online bookmakers cater to the Indian market with events like the vivo Pro Kabaddi League being added to their usual selection.
The Deposit and Withdrawal Methods Available
One worry that Indian sports-lovers may have is over the question of how they will be able to move their money in and out of their betting account. This is especially true since they need to use overseas sites, which you might expect would make the financial transactions more complicated. Thankfully, there are a number of accepted methods that Indian residents can use with no fuss.
Some sites accept debit card payments using Visa and MasterCard. This is a fast, cheap, and convenient method of adding funds to a betting account. However, there have been reports of Indian banks rejecting these transactions because they are linked to betting activities. A pre-paid AstroPay card may be a more suitable alternative for some people.
A growing number of bookmakers now accept online banking transfers from India, and it is a payment method that is expected to continue to grow in popularity. It isn’t expensive to move money in this way and the transactions tend to go through quickly too. Cryptocurrency is also likely to become more widespread over time too, with relatively few sites currently accepting it.
The best digital wallets in India offer a secure and sensible way of moving money online, with several of them accepted by betting sites. PayTM is one of these options, while Skrill and Neteller are well-established services of this type but can work out to be more expensive than other deposit methods.
Not all online betting sites accept all of these banking methods, so you should be sure to check the options on the bookmaker you are keen to sign up with. You will also want to see whether the site lets you bank in Rupees or forces you to use a currency like US Dollars or Euros.
The Deals to Look Out for
The hugely competitive nature of the online sports betting industry means that each company tends to offer interesting deals to encourage new members to sign up with them instead of looking elsewhere. This often means that you receive a welcome bonus to boost your first deposit, up to a certain limit. If we look at this guide to online betting in India, we can see that Spin Sports currently offers 100% extra up to $100, while the Funbet site provides 100% up to ₹10,000. A different approach comes from Betway, with €30 in free bets being their deal for newcomers. Each of these promotions comes with a set of terms & conditions that you should read before signing up and accepting the bonus.
How to Choose the Best Betting Provider
There are a number of factors to take into account when deciding which sports betting site to use. Most of them have a similar range of sports that you can bet on, so this isn’t likely to be a deciding factor unless you are most interested in a niche sport or a specific type of bet.
The deposit methods that are accepted and the type of welcome bonus that they currently offer are more important areas, as these crucial factors will help you to get started smoothly and with some extra funds in your account. Take a look at current reviews to find out other important information such as their customer service reputation and whether they have a mobile app.
There is little doubt that the Indian sports betting market is going through a period of expansion, and the fact that it is now so easy to get started should ensure that it continues to grow as more sports fans are attracted to give it a try.