The online gambling industry has thrived within India, especially in the last couple of years. With the growing availability of smart phones, cheaper data packs, as well as a widespread digital payment methods, the online gambling industry ir projected to grow from a value of 1.1 billion dollars in 2019 to a whopping 2.8 billion dollars in 2022. This projected growth rate will be at an astounding 40%, making the online gambling industry one of the fastest growing industries in the country.
However, despite this exponential growth, the online gaming industry remains largely unregulated. This means that the industry, although technically not illegal, lacks a legal framework that determines how the online betting market in India would function.
This is largely due to two reasons: since the matter of gambling has traditionally been a state government issue, most Indian states choose to have their own legislation about the subject; and second, the Public Gambling Act of 1867, which has been adopted by most Indian states, only talks about physical gambling being illegal and completely ignores any form of online gambling.
Since most Indian states follow in the footsteps of the Public Gambling Act, Indian users can use this legal loophole and safely bet online. In fact, there is a growing demand for sports betting as well as online casino websites.
But what makes regulation the need of the hour?
There are a lot of advantages that India will get by regulating the online gaming sector in its entirety. And the first benefit has to do with the boost that the Indian economy might receive from such a move.
Since any service providers or businesses in India are required to pay the Goods and Services Tax or GST to the government, the same would be required of betting sites or online gambling apps, once the industry was regulated. The amount of tax revenue that would be generated from online gaming companies would be a significant contribution to the state budget, allowing for a much needed stimulus for the Indian economy.
In fact, the state government of Maharashtra recently began contemplating the idea of regulating the online gaming industry, following a report that predicted that an imposition of GST on the betting operators could amasse as much as Rs. 25,000 crore per year!
But regulation does not only help in generating revenue for the state. To protect the interests of the users, there is an immediate need of regulation. Since there is no legal authority in this industry, people usually play without any security measures in place. Fraudulent websites or scams can easily target common people, and a refusal to pay the user’s winnings can hardly be met with a complaint.
With a proper regulatory authority, the safety of the user can be guaranteed. In fact, the regulatory authority can make it easier to spot problematic patterns of gambling addicts, which makes it possible to deploy measures to curb the issue.
Last but not least, the unregulated gambling industry can be currently used as a way to freely launder black money, which is obviously harmful for the Indian economy. However, with regulation from the Indian government, the industry would be completely legitimized and properly controlled, making it a safer space for everybody involved.
Since online gambling or betting remains one of the most popular industries in the country, it is evident that people will not be stopping their interest in it any time soon. Therefore, protecting the public as well as generating a great amount of resources for the state can be two very solid reasons why the industry demands regulation.