Although brick and mortar bookmakers are banned in India, sports betting, especially on games like cricket, is very popular, thanks to a huge underground presence of bookies and betting syndicates, running illegal operations. Now, along with the rest of the world, India has seen a surge in the popularity of online betting. Betfair, bet365, and betway are some of the biggest online bookmakers and betting exchanges. Is Betfair legal in India?
This is one of the requested questions that we get indicating the popularity of the bookmaker!
Is Betfair legal in India?
While Betfair did have operations in India and did accept Indian players, it has since withdrawn from the Indian market, and currently does not accept Indian players. The exact reason for this abrupt withdrawal is not known.
Although, players looking to bet online still have a wide choice, as sites like betway, bet365, 10cric, etc. very much accept Indian players.
The legality of online gambling
As mentioned early on, physical bookmaking shops are not permitted to operate in India, under the Public Gambling Act of 1867, which bans all forms of gambling. But there are no specific laws in India to deal with online gambling, leaving a glaring loophole in the law.
Taking advantage of this `legal grey area´ regarding online gambling and betting, online bookmakers and casinos, which are headquartered in foreign countries like Malta, Curacao, and Gibraltar, accept Indian players. Being hosted outside India, these sites are not bound by Indian laws, and hence continue to `legally´ accept Indian players.
These online sportsbooks are very easy to use, making placing bets extremely easy, even for first-timers. Many of these sites also allow Indian players to make deposits and withdrawals using Indian rupees, which is very convenient compared to transacting in foreign currencies like pounds and dollars. Also, transactions are very fast, thanks to the use of popular `Indian´ methods like the UPI, Paytm, and PhonePe.
Is Betfair legal in India? While it may be legal, it is not currently offering its operations to Indian players.