Which are the TOP bookmakers in India and where to bet safely?
Which are the best betting websites on the Indian market and what local players can expect while betting online? Discover the answers to these questions by reading our full overview of India’s gambling industry.
- Population: India is known to have the second-largest population in the world – second only to China. According to recent statistics, the country has a total of 1.3 billion people to date.
- Active players: Out of the country’s 1.3 billion population, there are an estimated 185 million people who are active gamblers in the country. That’s around 14% of the total population.
- Currency: International bookmakers that accept Indian players often use either mirror sites or proxies to cater to these punters. For these websites, the Indian rupee is often used as the main currency for funding gambling accounts.
- Regulated gambling products: While not all of India has accepted the legalisation of gambling products, the states of Goa and Sikkim have already been giving licences to casinos and other betting operators. So far, the two states allow licences for casinos, poker tables, bingos, sports betting hubs, and lotteries. Other than these two, there are 13 other states that allow licences for lotteries.
- Operator types: The two states allow licences for the abovementioned gambling products. However, these licences only cater to land-based operators.
- Designated authority: There is no central governing body for the gambling industry. Rather, each state has its own rules and regulations with regards to gambling.
- Status: To date, gambling is still largely illegal in the country, though a few states have started opening up their doors to the legalisation of gambling.
Top 3 Foreign Bookmakers in India
Founded in 2006, Betway is a very popular bookie from the UK known for providing some of the best odds in the market. Other than odds, Betway also has a great selection of markets to play in. They also have a lot of great games in their casino. To top it all off, Betway also offers some really attractive bonuses. For their features, they offer a horse racing section, cash-out function, live streaming service, and an eSports market. They have an attractive welcome offer of up to 5,000 KSh for their Indian customers.
The Swedish company Leovegas actually focuses more on its casino than its sports betting platform. That’s why you’ll find mostly casino players on the site. As a casino, you’ll find a plethora of enticing casino games that you can try out. It also offers amazing bonuses that you can avail of whether you’re a new customer or an existing one. As a bookmaker, Leovegas offers a good selection of events to bet on, impressive odds, and an interactive live betting section. However, it does not have a live streaming feature. It also doesn’t seem to have a cash-out feature.
22bet is a rather impressive bookmaker that has a lot of choices for betting options and betting events. Their odds aren’t something to write home about, but they’re not that bad either. You can say that their odds are at market standard. They are known to give some pretty good bonuses for both the sports betting section and casino section. Lastly, they have a cash-out option that you can take advantage of. The bad news is that 22bet has no live streaming service to allow you to enjoy watching your games.
Important Things to Know About Betting Sites in India
- Betting environment
Due to the restrictions regarding gambling in India, many of the bookmakers that cater to Indian players are from other parts of the world. We can actually say that the Indian gambling industry is flooded with just foreign bookies.
So far, we talked about the top 3 bookies that accept Indian punters. These are Leovegas, 22bet, and Betway. Other than these 3, bookies like Betwinner and 1xbet come pretty close in popularity.
The legal operators in the states of Goa and Sikkim are restricted to just land-based ones. However, there are no concrete laws when it comes to online gambling operators. That’s why the foreign ones decide to go in without much regulation.
- Active players
The active players in India have reached an estimated 185 million people out of the population of 1.3 billion people.
- Key Info for Players in India
Just like UK punters, football and horse racing are two of the most popular sports in India. In fact, horse racing is really big in India followed by football. Cricket is also a sport that’s widely betted on by Indian punters. These three sports dominate the Indian sports betting market.
- Gambling Taxes and Players’ Safety
There are taxes imposed on land-based casinos and other gambling hubs. However, online operators aren’t taxed on winnings simply because the Indian government can’t even control these operators. Simply put, punters don’t pay taxes when they bet on events hosted by foreign bookies.
Sports Betting in India: An Overview
As we already mentioned above, three of the top sports in India are cricket, horse racing, and football. With that in mind, we’ll talk about the three of them at length.
- Cricket Betting Sites in India: Cricket is pretty popular in India. Fortunately, a lot of international bookies include it in their list of betting options. That way, Indian punters can fully enjoy betting on cricket games.
- Indian Horse Racing Betting Websites: As mentioned earlier, horse racing is extremely popular in India. While not all bookmakers offer a racing section, most bookies that accept Indian punters offer horse racing events. This is most likely because they know that the Indian market is crazy about horse racing.
- Football Betting in India: Football is a staple in a lot of betting websites, so it’s no surprise that India betting sites offer football betting. Of course, Indian punters love betting on championship events as well as watching them.
What Kind of Odds Format Is Used in India?
From what we’ve observed, the odds format is more dependent on the individual bookmaker rather than the country the bookie is in. For most Indian bookmakers, the odds format used is either decimal and fractional. There are some bookies that offer American odds but the former two are more widely used.
Available Betting Markets in Most Bookmakers
Other than the three betting markets that we’ve already mentioned, there are still a lot of other betting markets that can be found. There is basketball, tennis, rugby, badminton, and even more. Since international bookies are the ones present in the Indian market, you’ll find that Indian punters have a lot to choose from.
In general, foreign bookies have a standard when it comes to user experience. The top ones, in particular, follow a very high standard when it comes to serving their customers. In a nutshell, Indian punters will experience a very good user experience when they play in betting websites.
Bonuses and Promotions for bettors from India
The top bookmakers that we picked for our list above are known for providing some pretty enticing bonuses. Since Indian players do love good bonuses, they get to enjoy various promotion types such as India free bets, India accumulator bonuses, India bet points for prizes, and many more.
Live Betting, Live Streaming & Cash-Out Features
Live betting is a pretty important part of any bookmaker since it offers a more exciting dimension of sports betting. Live betting allows you to place a bet on your India bet slip while your chosen event is happening real-time. This gives you a chance to actually partake in the act while it’s happening.
Other cool features from India sports betting sites include the live stream and cash-out features. These two features basically enhance your experience by allowing you to watch a game while betting on it and also allowing you to pull out of your bet early if you think it won’t go well. Fortunately, most of the top Indian bookmakers offer both.
Online Casinos in India
Just like sports betting websites, online casinos are also not legal in India. However, they are not popularly regulated which makes it easy for foreign casinos to penetrate the market. Since land-based casinos are legal and pretty popular in India, it’s no surprise that online casinos are popular as well.
Available Methods for Withdrawals and Deposits
There are several withdrawal and deposit methods available in India, with Visa, Visa Electron, Mastercard, and Maestro as the most popular. Aside from credit and debit cards, Indian punters can also make use of e-wallets to transfer funds. These include Skrill, Paypal, and Neteller.
Mobile Betting and Betting Apps
All sportsbooks in India have a mobile platform that can easily be accessed via a mobile browser. Due to this mobile platform, Indian punters can play their favorite casino games and bet on their favourite events via phone. Some platforms even offer India app downloads for Android and iOS devices. This mobile platform caters to the country’s mobile gambling market.
Safety and Security
Most big foreign bookies make use of SSL security which can ensure total safety and security of the information stored in their respective databases. Therefore, if you join a foreign bookie that has a good reputation, you’re more or less safe in their hands.
Is Customer Support good enough for players from India?
Top international bookies are usually very strict when it comes to training their support team. Therefore, the customer support representatives from well-known bookmakers are rather efficient when it comes to dealing with their customers’ problems and questions. That said, customer support is definitely good enough for the Indian market.
Is betting legal in India?
While betting is allowed in two states, online betting is still a section that’s pretty vague with regard to the law.
Does India allow hawala betting?
Hawala betting is not legal in India, though there are many underground operators that offer this type of betting.
Which betting sites are legal in India?
Generally, there are no licensed betting sites in India. While betting is not legal, the presence of sports betting sites is also not controlled. Therefore, you may actually sign up on sites like Betway and 22bet at your discretion.
Is online lottery allowed in India?
Lotteries are legal in 13 Indian states, but online gambling is still a bit vague.
What are the most recommended payment methods for Indian punters?
Credit card and debit card payments are still regarded as the best payment methods for Indian punters. However, banks usually block these payment methods, causing most Indian punters to often resort to e-wallets.
Are there any Indian betting sites that offer live streaming for cricket?
As of now, only Betway and Betwinner are known to have live streaming services for various sports including cricket.
Do Indian sports betting sites offer tips for India betting?
Yes, they do offer tips on their website or blog.
Is matched betting legal in India?
All forms of gambling are not legal in the country, meaning that matched betting in India is illegal as well.
- Betting on games that require skills such as rummy are considered by the Indian government as legal.
- Individuals who gamble online via international bookies are not controlled by the government.
- There is no fixed minimum age that allows people to start gambling. In some states, it’s 18 while it’s 21 in others.
Are There Any Restrictions for Players from India?
As a whole, the Indian government doesn’t consider online betting legal in India, so the government often tries to block access to such websites. Only some states allow operators to provide gambling services. However, this legalisation is only for land-based operators.
As per the laws and rules in India, online betting is not allowed. However, since there are no concrete laws when it comes to online gambling, most international bookmakers view India as an oil well for business. If ever the Indian government legalises gambling and concretise their laws, they can actually grow this industry and shift its rise to their advantage.