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Let me just state the obvious here: Cricket is the most popular sport in India.
The first recorded match was in 1721. That’s nearly 300 years the country has enjoyed playing and watching the sport.
And lots of people watch it.
Whenever there’s a big match about 400 million people tune in to watch it. That’s 400 million people of a population of 1.3 billion – or 1/3.
(Maybe ‘popular’ is an understatement?)
Anyway, a lot of Indians also bet on cricket. And, according to our website statistics, a lot of them worry about the legalities of online gambling in India. They want to know if they’re at (legal) risk for betting on cricket.
So, are they? Are you?
That’s what this page will explore in more detail. Let’s jump into it.
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We must warn our readers that whatever you do, you do at your own risk. We will merely provide information as to how you can deposit money and bet on cricket online. I will not guarantee that you are without liability to fines or worse. Please do your own due diligence and make sure you stay on top of the laws in your jurisdiction.
Some online betting sites allow customers from India to deposit and bet at their website, but many of these sites don’t specifically cater to the Indian population. They don’t always offer the sports that is popular in India or allow you to use your favored currency, which all makes it very difficult for players from India to bet under comfortable circumstances.
However, there are a few bookmakers out there that caters to Indian bettors specifically.
If this is your first time betting online on cricket you might enjoy our beginners guide
Our top bookmaker for players from India is Betway. They are very friendly to the market in India, accepting INR as a currency and offer lots of betting options on many different sports, including cricket of course!
Some of the advantages offered by betway:
They are not a newcomer to the online betting market having operated since 2006, but they are new to the Indian online betting market. They see that people in India love to bet, and very much so on cricket, and are looking to expand to their market there. This paves the way for good things like their exclusive India 100% deposit bonus up to ₹2500 if you are a new customer. Read more about our thoughts on Betway here
In a close second place of our five star recommendations we find Betrally India. They are exclusively an Indian site and more focused on sports that are popular in India, such as Cricket and Kabaddi. They are sensitive to local issues and will try to help you find solutions to any problems that you may encounter.
Some highlights for Betrally India:
In addtion Betrally India also accepts INR and local bank transfers. Not many sites can beat an ₹7500 weclome bonus. If this seems like the site for you, go there now.
If you would like more information check out our complete review
We would recommend using Bet365 as one of your main bookmakers from India. Bet365 is one of the most well-known online betting sites on the planet, and they have a great reputation among bettors and others in the industry. You can trust them both with your money and personal information.
In addition to being a bookmaker that is easy to deal with, they have plenty of other pros:
Be sure to make Bet365 part of your bookmaker arsenal, you will not regret it!
You can read the reviews for these sites, and more, if you go to our cricket betting sites page.
Most deposit methods offered by online betting sites fall into one of three categories:
All of them have different advantages and challenges. Which one you prefer will depend on a few different factors, not the least of which is availability in your region.
Examples: Visa and Mastercard
Pros: Instant deposit, Both small and large amounts accepted, fast withdrawal (once approved)
Cons: Sometimes not approved transfers to betting sites, have to be in your own name, make sure to only use trusted sites
Examples: ecopayz and entropay
Pros: Instant deposit, accepted by many sites, hides personal information
Cons: Slightly larger fees, not always available in ₹, one more account to create
Pros: Accepted by almost all gambling sites, Instant from wallet to betting site
Cons: Slow deposit from bank account to e-Wallet, One more site that wants proof of your identity
Most Euro and UK sportsbooks accept a wide variety of banking methods. You can deposit with methods like e-wallets, credit or debit cards. These are convenient (most people have access to these options) and are quick (deposits clear instantly).
What’s more is many of these books will let you deposit and play in rupees. So you don’t have to worry about exchange rates.
But will I have trouble making a deposit, or withdrawing my winnings?
Not if you follow our guide on how to deposit to online betting sites from India.
That is all there is to it. Some of the steps will require a bit of patience and work, like funding your Neteller or Skrill account, but once you have it setup, depositing to your betting site happens in an instant.
For some reason almost all online gambling sites have higher requirements when they have to give you money, compared to the other way around (I wonder why?)
Most of these extra challenges are related to proving that you are the person you claim to be. And are in place to avoid money laundering. They are not meant as way of stealing your money, and can be achieved relatively easily.
Exactly what type of documentation will be required for your first withdrawal depends upon the guidelines of the site you want to withdraw from. But mostly you are required to document the following:
If you dont have a passport or drivers license, remember to check with support if your national ID card is an acceptable way of verifying your identity. Not all sites accept these.
If this seems like too much of a hassle, remember that this process is a one time thing. Once the first withdrawal is approved you are free to enjoy all your winnings anytime you want to.
NB: if you feel you are being unreasonably denied, please send us a message. Most of these issues are misunderstandings and can be resolved. We have been able to help other players in the past, and at the very least we can help others avoid the same situation.
The first cricket match in India was played in 1721! That's 55 years before the US was founded.
Let me start this section off with this –
Laws, gambling or otherwise, are vague. It doesn’t matter what country you’re looking into.
A lot of things are going to ‘depend’ or be considered a ‘grey area.’ Nothing is ever black or white.
And that’s definitely the case for India’s gambling laws.
One reason for this (in India’s case) is they rely on outdated laws that don’t factor in the advances in technology.
Take the Public Gambling Act of 1867, for example.
This is more than 150 years old. But the country still leans on this law as if it’s relevant.
The PGA doesn’t do much – it merely makes running a gambling house illegal. The penalty is relatively small – ₹200 and/or 3 months prison.
This law also brings up the luck vs skill argument. And while you could say that sports betting (and poker and blackjack) are more about skill than luck, the goverment doesn’t seem to see things that way.
So, sports betting is a grey area at best, and illegal at worst.
(Though that hasn’t stopped an estimated $60 billion from flowing through the country – half of which is assumed to be wagered illegally.) To our knowledge, not a single person has been fined or arrested in India for online gambling.
Fortunately, India allows each state to determine their own gambling laws.
It’s possible to gamble (legally) in Goa, Daman and Sikkim. In fact, there are 12 brick and mortar casinos between Goa and Sikkim alone, where you can bet on sports and play casino games.
But, only offline.
Online gambling is possible. But because of the Information Technology Act 2000, any activity the government views as corruptible to its people is prohibited. This comes with fines of up to ₹1,00,000 and/or 5 years in prison.
But, it’s still possible.
Indians are able to place bets with offshore sportsbooks and casinos. A couple examples include Bet365, Betrally and Betway. All 3 are top-notch, and all 3 accept Indian players.
And since they’re offshore there is little the Indian government can do (outside of getting involved with payment processing – which we have already covered – or censoring what their people can do online, which it sounds like they’re doing or trying to do).
So, that’s the long and short of it.
Gambling in India is legal in a few states, but only offline. If you want to gamble online you’ll have to do so (illegally) at an offshore sportsbook or casino.
However, there might be a new hope on the horizon. The new report (July 2018) from the law commission in India states that:
If a complete ban is unenforceable the only viable way to deal with gambling is via effective regulation - (page115 9.8)
As always we can expect a lot of back and forth between the politicians before anything happens. The opposition is ready to exploit any hint of gambling as much as possible. Minister for Law & Justice, Ravi Shankar Prasad, latest reply (Aug 2018) seems vague at best
Experts and handicappers alike think it will take years to turn into law.
Some books will not accept credit or debit card payments from Indians.
That creates a problem, to say the least. But do not give up hope just yet! Other deposit options may still be able to help you.
And you can thank the Payment and Settlement Act, 2007 for that. This was signed into law on December 20th, 2007 by Madame President Patil.
This law gives the Reserve Bank of India the ability to regulate all forms of electronic payments. The most important part of the law states that:
Payment system not to operate without authorisation : (1) No person, other than the Reserve Bank, shall commence or operate a payment system except under and in accordance with an authorisation issued by the Reserve Bank under the provisions of this Act
You know what this means, don’t you?
The government gives them the right to make policies on demand for anything to do with payment processing.
(Policies created on a whim –without much thought— are hardly ever a good thing.)
And that’s not your only problem. There’s also the Foreign Exchange Management Act (FEMA) 1999. This governs the exchange of foreign currencies.
This, too, can get in your way of making a deposit if you try to make a deposit to an online sportsbook in anything other than rupees (for whatever reason).
The bottom line –
Online gambling is illegal in India. And you may have hurdles you’ll need to get over to make your deposit.
The good news?
It is possible. Lots of other Indians are doing it. You can too IF you’re okay with the risks.
We’re not lawyers. We can’t tell you what’s right or wrong in your state, or what your next action should be.
Of course, you can always gamble offline if you want to be 100% compliant.
But if you want to bet on cricket online, be sure to choose a top-notch sportsbook, and preferably one that accepts the banking method you want to use.
From there, simply cross your fingers.