Online Gambling in India is highly regulated by the Gambling in India is highly regulated by the Public Gaming Act of 1867.
There are only two states that offer legal land-based casinos – Sikkim and Goa.
Digitalization has bestowed on us a switch from traditional land-based casinos to online gaming platforms, which are gaining relevance and popularity worldwide.
Thankfully, India is no exception.
Since the rules and regulations mostly focus on restricting the operations of brick-and-mortar casinos in India, online gambling operators have utilized this as an opportunity to gain control over the huge Indian market.
It is presumed that the implementation of progressive financial measures will help offshore crypto casinos to grow and expand in India, which we will discuss in the rest of the article.
Digital India – Myopic or Visionary?
A flagship program launched by the Government of India in 2014, Digital India’s main motive was to revolutionize the digital framework of the country.
Subsequently, two major events followed. The demonetization of 2016 and the emergence of mobile network operators providing a substantial amount of data at a minimum rate, had an influence on shaping the economic sector digitally.
UPI or Unified Payment Interface, developed by the National Payments Corporation of India, led to the rise of digital financial transactions in India.
Other e-wallets like Google Pay, PayTM and PhonePe gained relevance as well. In 2021 alone, India observed over 35 billion digital transactions.
Experts are expecting cashless transactions to dominate in the upcoming years.
A Rise in Entertainment Spending
Keeping in mind the taboo associated with gambling in India, many players have found their comfort in online gaming activities.
Since online gambling activities are not prohibited in India legally, it is a win-win scenario for players who want to stay anonymous.
For example, the Indian Premier League experiences millions of digital microtransactions every year which signifies that sports betting is on the rise in the country.
The Amplitude of the Indian Online Gambling Scenario
Although Indians exhibit a positive attitude towards putting money at stake in betting activities, there is a bridge that needs to be filled.
The vast collection of free games harmonizes with the stigma associated with games involving real money.
It is observed that Indians have a tendency to spend more on downloads and upgrades, rather than wagering on games of skill or games of chance.
Even if they do, the amount is substantially low as compared to other developed countries.
This raises a question regarding the relevance of online gambling platforms in India.
A major reason why online casinos are yet to find widespread acceptance in India is due to the conflict between the payment gateways.
For an instance, Skrill and Neteller, the two e-wallets mostly accepted by online casinos for conducting financial transactions, are not popular in India.
So, online casinos need to prioritize a few things to get out of the jumbled situation and expand their business in the Indian market.
Payment Methods yet to Be Popularized in India
Online casinos opt for offshore licenses from places like Malta and Curacao, where the regulations are less stringent.
Similarly, they go for payment gateways that ensure hassle-free transactions in their business.
From e-wallets to cryptocurrencies, here are some of the payment options accepted by online casinos that are yet to get a widespread user base in India:
Cryptocurrencies are digital currencies controlled by blockchain technology, devoid of any centralized control from banks or other financial institutions.
The online casinos accept cryptocurrencies like Bitcoin, Ethereum, and Litecoin to conduct financial transactions with the players.
The Indian gambling industry is expected to expand at an exponential rate if cryptocurrency takes over as a readily accepted mode of transaction in the Indian market.
Ripple is a money transfer network created by Ripple Labs Inc.; a technology company based in the US.
They are designed to act as a digital payment network as well as a cryptocurrency in financial transactions
. Their native cryptocurrency is known as XRP. Although XRP is faster and cheaper than Bitcoin, XRP is owned by a private company.
While Bitcoin remains a public system, XRP isn’t really so, despite being decentralized.
Ripple sports betting sites are increasing in number and have a huge prospect in India due to the countrymen’s fascination with sports betting.
However, these casinos need to be a bit more inclusive regarding other payment options at an elementary level to attract Indian clients.
Skrill is an e-wallet owned by British company Paysafe. It has a widespread global acceptance predominantly due to its safety and security, along with its ability to conduct fast transactions within minutes.
40 different currencies are accepted by Skrill, which includes Indian Rupee. However, withdrawal from online casinos using Skrill requires a transaction fee of 2.5%.
Another e-wallet owned by the same company, Neteller is also preferred for conducting transactions in online casinos.
Safe and convenient, it accepts currencies from 25 different countries including the Indian rupee.
The withdrawal fee of Neteller is relatively lower, which is 1.45%.
However, Skrill and Neteller are not commonly used in India as people rely more on Google Pay or PayTM for digital transactions.
VISA and MasterCard
VISA and MasterCard are multinational financial service providers that offer credit and debit card services to their clients.
By connecting the card to your bank account, you can easily deposit and withdraw money from online casinos.
These are safe and secure payment gateways, but withdrawal requires some time.
Although VISA and MasterCard are steadily gaining popularity in India, they are outpaced by their domestic counterpart RuPay, which facilitates faster transactions with lower service charges.
Sports Betting Sites with Faster Withdrawals Prioritized by Indians
SERP results from Google Analytics data show us that ‘withdrawals’ happens to be one of the most searched pages and organic traffic indicates that Indians are eager to find a faster withdrawal solution from online casinos.
Also, they are strongly inclined to put money at stake for popular sports like cricket, followed by soccer.
Online casinos can use this as an opportunity to include sports betting options, accompanied by digital currencies that provide rapid transactions.
Cryptocurrencies – The Future of Online Gambling
Cryptocurrencies are presumed to be the future of the online gambling industry.
In a highly digitalized society where analogous options are having a hard time competing, digital currencies may take over the financial sector in the near future.
However, there are strong reasons to believe that cryptocurrencies are going to dominate the online gambling industry. They can be listed as follows –
- Chargeless transactions – Standard payment pathways like cards and e-wallets deduct a transaction fee. Additional fees are deducted for services like currency conversion. Cryptos, being completely decentralized, have no need to impose a fee for transactions. This feature comes with a huge benefit for the gamblers, where they can withdraw without losing any money.
- More Control – The decentralized nature of cryptocurrencies does not make them liable to any government or private authorities. This means that casinos would be relieved from the burden of abiding by the terms and conditions of third parties like card providers or financial companies.
- Instant Transactions – Withdrawing a fortune from an online casino takes some time via traditional payment methods like e-wallets and cards. These 3-5 days waiting time can be avoided using cryptocurrencies that facilitate instant deposits and withdrawals.
- Security – Digital currencies, although lie at the risk of fluctuations, are relatively safe from cyber-attacks and other fraudulent activities.
- Anonymity – Cryptocurrency allows gamblers to make transactions with casinos without sharing their personal and financial information. All you need is your wallet address or account destination tag.
The Bottomline: What Can be Done?
Thanks to all the progressive measures implemented a few years back, digital wallets have become very popular within a short span and are found in every Indian’s hands nowadays.
They have essentially pushed a section of the population towards online gambling.
However, crypto gambling platforms that are stringent with their mode of transactions can try to be comprehensive and include the popular Indian financial services besides providing cryptocurrencies and other standard gateways.
They can also rely on providing the Indian customers with a relatively high bonus for the time being.
Once alternative payment gateways reach the masses, Indians would happily choose them over traditional methods evaluating the benefits they bring to online gambling.
As of now, gambling enthusiasts in India can follow a wait-and-watch approach for the best online casino that serves their interests.
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