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India’s Great Potential: Will India Ever Showcase Gambling Tourism?

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There have been reports that gambling companies are eyeing India as the next biggest market in Asia. It’s mainly because India has one of the biggest populations, and it is no secret Indians love to gamble. Add into the mix that the internet infrastructure has already greatly improved in the country and more and more locals are getting ahold of devices that they can use to access online casinos. With all that, it’s not impossible that the country would have gambling tourism in the future.

While it’s generally illegal to operate a casino in the country, there are only three states so far that allow it: Goa, Sikkim, and Daman. This means that if the locals want to gamble legally, they will have to go to these places and visit licensed land casinos. 

However, even if this is the case, India’s gambling scene is very much alive. This is mainly thanks to the online gambling sector. While operations of online casinos are not allowed in the country, offshore-based online gambling sites can offer their services to the locals as long as they adhere to a certain condition. 10CRIC Deposit and Withdraw options include Indian Rupees (INR) and this is why such casino sites allow Indians to bet and play with them.

Why Are Gambling Companies Still Eyeing India Despite Restrictions? 

In particular, it has been the UK gambling companies that have expressed their interest in establishing a market in India. This started when the UK has somehow become stricter when it comes to its gambling rules and regulations.

For example, the UK Gambling Commission has required online casinos to have a thorough verification process for new customers. Gambling advertising is also limited and is no longer allowed on daytime television. The use of credit cards is also no longer allowed for any gambling activities.

While these are all necessary steps to ensure the safety of the gamblers in the country, it’s also becoming tougher for gambling companies because all these will result in lessened revenues. And so, it’s perfectly understandable for them to try and penetrate countries with more relaxed gambling regulations.

This is, of course, unless India starts to regulate online casinos. Up until today, gambling is regulated in the country with The Public Gaming Act of 1867. This law prohibits running or being charged for a gambling place and anyone who is caught doing this will be fined ₹200 and be imprisoned for up to 3 months.

This law is so old that it doesn’t mention anything about gambling on the internet. Now, there is still The Information Technology Act of 2000 that regulates cyber activities. However, this still doesn’t mention anything about gambling. Because of this, the locals are still free to access online casinos based elsewhere without getting in any trouble.

So far, only the states of Maharashtra, Telangana, and Andhra Pradesh have imposed specific bans on online gambling. For other states, as long as the casino sites allow Indians to transact with the local currency, they should be fine. 

Neighboring Countries that Have Gambling Tourism

Many are saying that India is lagging when it comes to the regulation of gambling. There are even studies that show how the country is losing millions of US dollars of revenue to offshore casinos. With India’s potential, it could establish gambling tourism like its neighbor countries.

Macau is also known as a gambling hotspot. In this country, gambling has been legal since the 1850s. The gambling industry in Macau makes as much as 29 billion USD each year, before the pandemic. Macau has over 40 casinos and some of the most popularly played games here include baccarat.

Aside from Macau, one country that also showcases gambling tourism is Singapore. Even if the local gambling sector here is not as huge as Macau’s, many people would visit the country to experience gambling here too. It is reported that around 15 to 20 percent of Indian tourists in Singapore would go to casinos. Even the biggest cricket and Bollywood stars would fly to Singapore to gamble too. 

Singapore may not have as many casinos as Macau but it has luxurious resorts with casinos. Some would even say that people can experience Las Vegas in this country as one of the best casinos is there which is the Marina Sands. This casino is 15,000 square meters big.

For now, there seems to be no priority given to gambling, and even if gambling tourism is a possibility, it’s probably not going to happen any time soon. However, many are hopeful that India would eventually regulate both in-person and online gambling because it could be beneficial to the country when done correctly. Surely, earning more tax revenues is needed right now because India’s economy has suffered greatly because of the pandemic.

SMEStreet Edit Desk

SMEStreet Edit Desk is a small group of excited and motivated journalists and editors who are committed to building MSME ecosystem through valuable information and knowledge spread.

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