The size of the underground betting market in India was estimated to be at $130 Mn as of 2018 growing at a CAGR of ~7% as per reports.
The staggering size of this illegal market is cause for grave concern.
But why does the betting world lurk in the shadows?
The laws in our country around gambling are rather loosely worded leaving a lot of grey area in the process.
While gambling on the ‘lands’ are illegal, there has been no mention to include the world of internet into its ambit so far with the exceptions to a few states.
With further ambiguity around a game of ‘chance’ and a game of ‘skill’, the latter being legal, this has simply opened a new can of worms.
Now what does this lead to?
Many players have capitalized on this lack of clarity in the word of law to set up online betting arenas (technically not land, right?) or including games like poker under the ‘game of skill’ umbrella, the government have largely been unable to completely curb the affects of gambling trickle into the society, which did seem like what they intended to do.
With the underground market growing at a rapid pace, the Government needs to step in and make their stand clear. Either bring in law that legalizes gambling including useful regulations with the likes of Responsible Gambling norms/limits, Basic earnings criteria to be eligible to sign up on platforms etc. or strengthen the laws to plug the holes it currently has.
With the law seemingly on the fence on this for very long, it has given rise to a dark world of underground gambling with no regulations/limitations, lost tax revenue, and undisclosed income rapidly changing hands becoming all the more harder to track.