Sports betting is very popular in India and experts predict in 2013 Indians will wager close to Rs. 4 lakh crore on cricket betting alone. This prediction largely accounts for the expected wagering on Indian Premier League Season 6 (IPL6), Twenty20 Champions League, and the 2013 ICC Champions Trophy. Additional wagering will no doubt take place on Formula 1, i-League, and of course European football which has a huge following in Kolkata.
Most Indians who bet online do so at foreign bookmakers licensed in the European Union, who therefore are legal under international law. If you’ve never bet online before, and are looking to do so for the first time, you’ll need an e-wallet. The reason why is because Reserve Bank of India (RBI) has strict policies regarding cross border transactions, and also online betting is a legal gray area in most Indian states. In this article I’ll cover the easiest method to deposit, best online betting sites for India, betting online in rupee, and the legality of online betting.
If you have a VISA or MasterCard debit card, the easiest betting payment method to use is www.entropay.com. The way this works is you register an account at their website, selecting Euro as your account currency, and then deposit using your Indian bank debit card. There are two things you need to know about this method:
Once your EntroPay account is funded you can use it to deposit in Euro at any of the betting sites mentioned below.
www.dafabet.com is best only for pre-match betting on which team will win. This is true for cricket as well as football, Formula 1 bets and most other sports. Dafabet does not have all the fancy prop markets or much in-play betting – but they truly 90% of the time have the best odds. When you deposit to Dafabet using eWallet, you can cash out via the same method, or you can have them send a wire transfer withdrawal to your home bank account.
www.paddypower.com is great for cricket betting. Prior to the match starting you can wager on which team will win, which team will win the toss, which team will have the highest opening partnership, yes or no on will the first wicket be caught, and on a multi-way market for method of first dismissal with the options being Caught, Caught & Bowled, Bowled, Leg before wicket, Run out, Stumped, and Other. The real reason we love PaddyPower is because when it comes to in-play cricket betting you’ll find more markets here than at any other online betting site. After depositing at Paddy Power with EntroPay, you can cash out back to EntroPay and have EntroPay send a transfer to you home bank account.
www.ladbrokes.com is awesome for cricket propositions. In addition to match winners you can bet over/under how many runs a team will have before their first wicket falls, over/under how many runs a team will score in their first over, which team will have the most sixes, which team will score more in their first over, and which team will score more in their first six overs. They also have several batsman markets such as highest opening partnership, head to head matches up between star cricketers from each team, and over/under bets on total runs for specific cricketers. When you deposit at Ladbrokes via EntroPay, you can withdrawal winnings back to EntroPay, or have Ladbrokes send you a Western Union payout. For more information, read out our Ladbrokes Sports review.
The online bookmakers mentioned above are best for betting in Euro. To save on currency conversion and EntroPay fees you can open an e-wallet account with www.skrill.com and then open a betting account in Indian Rupee betting currency. The reason I mention this last – part of the set up process of verifying a Skrill account is sending them a wire transfer. Considering current accounts are needed to send wires and Indian banks won’t process cross-border wires without an invoice this is a challenge for most Indians. If you do have a current account and can convince your bank to send the small wire – then this is a better long term method. Skill has much lower fees than EntroPay and you can also bet without converting Rupee to Euro and vice versa.
This is a tough question to answer. Technically, the Public Gambling Act, written over 145 years ago, makes most forms of gambling including betting illegal. However the constitution clearly makes gambling laws a state issue, and likewise Sikkim has went ahead and legalized online betting in their state. To make matters even more confusing, because the internet didn’t exist when the Public Gambling Act was written –whether betting online with a foreign bookmaker is legal or not, remains a question for debate.
The legal debate is probably however a trivial one, as the penalty for being caught is a mere Rs.100 fine or up to one month in prison. Considering no one has ever been imprisoned for using the internet to access a foreign bookmaker licensed abroad, betting online seems relatively low risk. Remember, as stated in the intro, it’s expected in 2013 Indians will wager close to Rs. 4 lakh crore on cricket alone; the large majority of this will be bet online via foreign bookmakers. Online betting in India is so popular that literally hundreds of thousands of Indians bet online routinely; doing so yourself makes you one in a massive crowd.