Sports betting is an exciting subject that generates a lot of interest among punters. The ambiguity surrounding the legality of sports betting in India and the relatively amateur phase of the market brings questions galore. Read on to find out more about popular sports betting sites in India.
Most Popular Sports Betting Sites in India
Top 5 Sports Betting Sites in India
Sports Betting in India
India is well known for its association with sports betting, even though unregulated and offline. According to the UK-India Business Council, the unregulated betting industry in India is worth $150 billion (approximately ₹10lakh crores), and every ODI match of the Indian national cricket team attracts bets worth approximately 1,500 crores ($200 million).
On the other hand, the legal betting industry is majorly online and clocks $3 billion every year, which is a fraction of the above-estimated unregulated market. However, things are fast-changing, and the market is witnessing double-digit growth every year.
The government's aim towards curbing the menace of illegal financial transactions – such as betting in unregulated markets – has led to a heightened focus on digital transactions. This, as a result, has seen a shift in the gaming preferences of players from offline to online.
Is Betting Legal in India?
Betting on games of skills, such as horse racing, is permitted in most states of India, whereas all games of chance are prohibited.
However, the country's sports betting laws are not that simple. According to the Public Gambling Act 1876, gambling and betting are illegal in India – yet these laws were made centuries ago and do not cover online betting.
Another aspect of betting in India is that every state has the power to pass its own betting law. Some states like Andhra Pradesh and Telangana have banned online gambling, while other states have not framed any betting law.
In the absence of appropriate legislation, sports betting lies in the grey area. Thus, even though it is not explicitly legal, neither is it illegal. Therefore, you can safely undertake sports betting with bookmakers based out of India. An additional precaution you can take is to check whether your state has recently passed any law to ban online betting.
Most Popular Betting Sports in India
While India is blessed with an audience for many sports, the list of sports gets trimmed when we look at it from the online betting perspective.
Enthusiastically followed by people of all ages, cricket evokes strong emotions across the country and is almost a religion in itself. Given that the sport enjoys such a wide following India, bookmakers put in their best efforts to develop exciting odds for bettors.
- Cricket is a versatile game with options for developing plenty of markets.
- The game is popular in several countries, thus catered to by the best cricket betting sites. Its popularity gives you opportunities to bet on international matches too.
- You will never be out of options to bet on cricket as there is always a major tournament or series taking place in some part of the world.
- Cricket, even in its shortest format of T20, is a long duration game, which may wipe out the betting excitement.
- Live streaming of sports has become a standard offering among bookmakers nowadays. However, cricket live streaming is offered by only the leading bookmakers in selective countries.
Top Tournaments to Watch Out For:
- ICC World Cup
- ICC T20 World Cup
- Indian Premier League-IPL
2. Horse racing
Horse racing, whose origin in India dates back almost two centuries, is expressly considered a game of skill and is one of the very few sports for which betting is legally held offline, across the country.
- It provides a legal way of earning large amounts of money through betting as it offers chances of high-stakes betting.
- The sport is heavily based on skill, and bettors can increase their chances of winning by investing more time in research and analysis.
- Horse racing betting includes several types of of bets. You have the standard bets like a win, lose, and place of winning, as well as exotic bets like a quinella, superfecta, and tri-cast.
- Its legal nature also has a flipside. Bettors may bet uncontrollably as they do not have fear of coming under any regulatory scrutiny, and as a result, may end up in a financial mess.
- Horse races are of extremely short duration and one needs to have in-depth knowledge about horses and jockeys to regularly win such bets.
Top Tournaments to Watch Out For:
- 1000 and 2000 Guineas (held in December every year)
- The Indian Derby (held on the 1st Sunday of February every year)
- The Indian Oaks (held in January every year)
Played in most countries worldwide, football enjoys a haloed presence in the global betting community. In India, football is not as widely popular as cricket, but is still growing at an excitingly fast pace.
- Football presents the perfect game duration – neither too long nor too short. It gives bettors the chance to change their betting strategy if things are not working out their way.
- It is live-streamed by the majority of the best football betting sites.
- The game has a very simple set of rules, and even rookies can easily understand the game to start betting.
- Compared to other sports, football is a low-scoring game, thus making it more susceptible to random results.
- The teams in India do not have that many star players, thus the entertainment value for Indian football is a bit lower. However, Indians follow a host of international football leagues, like EPL and La Liga.
Top Tournaments to Watch Out For:
- Indian Super League-ISL
- National Football League
- English Premier League
- Spanish La Liga
Originated in India, the game is widely popular among the rural areas of the country. The game is actively played in only about a dozen countries, and the International Kabaddi Federation has a membership of just 31 national kabaddi associations.
However, kabaddi received massive support and international popularity after the introduction of the Pro-Kabaddi League betting in India.
- Kabaddi is a high-contact sport with an exciting gameplay, and opportunities for several markets.
- It has a high-entertainment factor.
- Being a relatively new sport in the betting world, most of the best kabaddi betting sites offer attractive odds and promotions to attract bettors to this game.
- Kabaddi does not have regular matches, which reduces the frequency of its betting.
- It is usually not live-streamed.
Top Tournaments to Watch Out For:
- Kabaddi World Cup
- Federation Cup
- Pro-Kabaddi League
5. Field Hockey
Considered the national sport of India, field hockey has been played in the country for decades. The game has eleven players on either side and is played for seventy minutes, split into two halves.
- Hockey has an easy-to-understand gameplay.
- Like football, hockey enjoys the duration advantage, making it appealing for betting.
- Bookmakers do not provide many specially-designed promotions and bonuses for hockey, as they do for cricket and football.
- The game does not receive wide patronage, which makes it less attractive to new bettors.
Top Tournaments to Watch Out For:
- Beighton Cup
- Aga Khan Tournament
- Hockey India League
How To Pick the Right Sport for You
After reading about the most popular sports, you might have narrowed down your list to one or two specific ones because of their wider popularity as compared to the others.
However, before deciding which sport you want to bet your money on, we suggest considering the below factors.
1. Knowledge of the Sport
Contrary to widespread opinion among newbies and non-bettors, sports betting is not completely based on luck. While a certain degree of luck is necessary to win bets, understanding the sport matters as much, if not more.
Before jumping in to place bets, watch and understand the sport. Learn the factors which matter and take note of the game flow. Every sport has some crucial points which you must be aware of as a bettor.
Most importantly, bet only if you are confident and ready to take the risk.
2. Knowledge of the Markets
Markets are the events in the game for which the bookmakers develop odds, and are opportunities for bettors to make money.
For example, match-winner is a market involving bettors placing bets on the team whom they think will win the match. There are dozens of other such markets in cricket, such as top bowler, player of the match, and most sixes – to name a few.
The point we are trying to put across is that you must know and learn about as many markets as possible. Not understanding the markets and how they work will likely not make you a successful bettor. Therefore, pick a sport whose markets you understand or can easily learn.
3. Is It Available for Betting With Leading Bookmakers?
There might be instances where the sport or a particular tournament on which you want to bet is only available on some unpopular betting site whose records and history do not instil confidence to register with it.
In such cases, you should avoid betting on that game altogether, as there are chances of that bookmaker being a scam website which might defraud you. Betting with the leading bookmakers ensures that your money and data are safe – two things of paramount importance in today’s online world.
Top Factors To Consider When Selecting a Sports Betting Site
With all the options available, selecting the right sports betting site might appear to be a daunting task at first, but you can rest assured of finding a genuine site if you follow this checklist of factors before registering your account.
Online fraud is a reality, and the sports betting world is plagued by hackers who target poorly-secured websites to swindle money from its users. Always check whether your website follows basic security protocols, such as having an SSL encryption certificate (HTTPS) and using globally-recognised payment options.
It is best to use websites that are affiliated with national gaming authorities as these affiliations require websites to follow advanced security protocols.
2. Market Reputation
User reviews are a credible way to judge the authenticity and the value of odds offered by a sports betting site. While every website will have some negative posts about it, looking at reviews across multiple websites will give you a general outlook about its credibility.
3. Market Odds
You should always compare odds across multiple bookmakers before deciding to bet with a particular website.
However, always compare among the reputed and leading websites, such as the ones we have mentioned in the table above. Some newbie websites display amazingly high odds to lure unsuspecting customers, but then vanish into thin air with your money.
4. Customer Support
The quality of customer support is extremely important in the sports betting world as most websites have a physical presence outside India, so whatever help you want will be online through the customer support team.
Look for bookmakers that provide support over call, email, and live chat. You may even try their support services before registering to test their speed and efficiency.
5. Promotions & Bonuses
Sports betting in India is fuelled by frequent bonuses and promotions offered by bookmakers to draw customers to play with them. The promotions can be in the form of cash rewards, free bets, or other types of bonuses.
Rewards in the form of promotions and bonuses can provide you with a significant sum of extra money to place sports bets. Most websites even have a separate promotions section on their website to highlight their offerings.
How To Place Bets
Sports betting in India is a pretty straightforward process, and the steps to place bets are similar across most websites.
Step 1: Register and log in to your preferred betting website account.
Step 2: Avail of any welcome bonus or no deposit bonus that might be on offer.
Step 3: Deposit money into your account.
Step 4: Select the market and enter your stake amount.
Step 5: Click on the ‘Place bet’ button, and you are set!
Popular Deposit & Withdrawal Methods in India
Below are the top payment methods for sports betting in India:
The presence of digital wallets has been a boon for the betting world. Making deposits is child’s play and happens in a matter of a few seconds. Here are some of the top deposit methods in India:
- Paytm, PhonePe, Google Pay
- Skrill, NETELLER
- Visa & Mastercard
- Bank transfer
Betting websites usually process deposits using the same payment method used for depositing money. However, at times, the deposit method is not available for withdrawal due to higher processing fees or an internal policy of the company.
In such cases, the withdrawal is processed via bank transfer. Therefore, it is recommended that you always keep your bank payment details updated in your betting account to prevent any avoidable delays.
Sports Betting in India FAQs
Which are the best sites for sports betting in India?
Is there any legal age for sports betting in India?
Yes, all bettors must be above the age of 18 years to be eligible for online betting.
Do the top betting sites also provide mobile betting apps?
Of course. Mobile apps have become a necessity and are provided by all the leading sports betting sites. The mobile apps of the top sports betting sites, such as 1xBet, 10CRIC, and bet365 feature in the list of the best cricket betting apps too.
Will the bookmakers deduct tax on my winnings?
Sports betting sites do not, however, you are required to pay tax on your earnings yourself as per the provisions of the Income Tax Act, 1961. Contact your tax advisor for further clarity.
What is the minimum deposit amount on sports betting sites?
Every bookmaker has a different limit for the minimum deposit amount. You can check the FAQs section of the particular website to know their deposit limits or contact their customer support representative.
CricketBettingAdvice Final Say
Sports betting in India is growing at a steady pace, and there are indications of a central law relating to online betting being implemented soon. This will give further impetus to the sports betting market in India.
Now that you know more about the most popular sports for sports betting in India, go ahead and start betting!
The Cricket Betting Advice team of writers are all defined by one goal: to provide you with the best online cricket betting content on the web.