Despite India’s long history and passion for gambling, the country still lags behind other jurisdictions when it comes to regulating the betting industry. In fact, a study has found that India is at the bottom of the list, scoring only nine out of 100 points across five key criteria.
‘Absent’ regulation results in the uncertain gambling market
The said research, carried out by H2 Gambling Capital on behalf of The International Betting Integrity Association (IBIA) judged 20 jurisdictions with different regulatory and licensing models—including India and Australia, which represented the Asia-Pacific markets. The jurisdictions were awarded points out of 100 based on their unlimited licensing models, competitive GGR tax, wide product offerings, integrity provisions, and balanced parameters.
The research found that “Regulation and market oversight, notably consumer protection, therefore remains absent across much of India.”
This isn’t surprising. Players and gambling operators in the country are still finding their way through India’s labyrinth of outdated laws—a mix of central and state regulations that are complicated to interpret, let alone follow for users of SevenJackpots online casinos and other online gambling platforms such as Purewin.
“Regulation is intended to simplify complex situations. Public interest is the driving force behind most such decisions, and the result is legal standards, definitions, and ‘red lines,’” according to SevenJackpots research.
The industry, particularly the online gaming sector, has been working towards ending the so-called “ambiguity of perception amongst the public” brought by the insufficient information available about the industry. Law firm Touchstone Partners recently teamed up with ENV Media to review the legal landscape of online gambling in the country, noting that it sees the opportunities India’s rapidly growing betting market can provide.
“We are hopeful that the Indian regulatory framework will be amended to encourage additional participation, not least because as a country we have much to gain from regulating activities such as gambling and betting,” Uday Walia, partner at Touchstone Partners, said.
Here’s why regulation is important
There have been countless calls to revamp the legal status of India’s gambling industry—and here’s why this is important.
Simply put, “A regulated market is better than an illegally functioning one,” researchers at SevenJackpots stated in their report. “Transparent regulation will help the best gambling platforms prove their integrity to the public eye. Formal guidelines on online gambling will improve the business climate and bring benefits to state coffers.”
A regulated gambling market that brings transparency to the sector ensures consumer protection, which can result in more investments coming to the country—and ultimately, better tax collection for the government.
Recently, the government convened a seven-member panel to “examine the issue of valuation of services provided by casinos, racecourses, and online gaming portals and taxability of certain transactions in a casino, with a reference to the current legal provisions and order of courts.” If done correctly, this can be the much-needed step towards the uniform legalization of the industry.
“Online gaming companies are in nascent stages in India, leading to multiple unresolved issues around taxation and valuation, posing a big challenge for the entire industry. Now a GoM [Group of Ministers] has been constituted to understand, examine and resolve the uncertainty surrounding the valuation of services by casinos, racecourses, and online gaming companies,” AMRG and Associated senior partner Rajat Mohan said, according to the Times of India report.
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