Cricket is often said to be an Indian game that was accidentally discovered by the English! This perhaps best summarises the popularity of the game in India. If it is just another sport in other cricket playing nations, it is akin to religion in India where cricketers enjoy demi-god status. If hockey was the most popular sport in India in the early years of nation’s independent history due to exploits in the Olympics the 1983 World Cup win in England changed the course of India’s love affair with the Gentleman’s Game. There is no other sport that comes even close to the cult following that cricket enjoys and the level of euphoria it generates whenever and wherever the Indian team plays. In a country that has had its issues with religious and ethnic divides it is this game that unites the billion plus population.
Popularity of Betting In Cricket
Indians are not just passionate lovers of cricket but also the most knowledge community when it comes to the game. They have deep understanding of how two sides are likely to fare in a game, which player is expected to make best use of the conditions and also what have been the performances of the individual players and teams in the past. They know the stats and they know what can drive performances from teams and players. All these along with basic knowledge about the different betting markets serve as key ingredients into making a successful sports punter.
India’s 1.3 billion population size is greater than the sum total of populations in all major cricket playing countries in the world. This theoretically makes India the most popular place for cricket betting. However the popularity is much more than the numbers. Indians love this game and worship it like no other place in the world. They religiously follow the game which can be gauged from the number of people that turn up even to watch Test cricket whenever India plays at home. The huge expat community also follows the Indian team in different corners of the globe filling the stands and often outnumbering fans for the local sides. Not surprisingly there numbers are increasing in the world of betting as well and Indian is the fast growing market for cricket punters in the world.
Development of Online Betting on Cricket in India
Betting and gambling in sports is illegal in India. Call it one of the hangovers of the colonial days or Indian government’s lack of foresight in terms of the revenues it can generate in the form of taxes the Public Gambling Act (1867) has prevented sports betting to be legalized in India. But the same law doesn’t restrict its residents from betting on foreign online betting platforms. There has been no case of an Indian resident ever being charged or prosecuted for gabling with international bookmakers. Thanks to the ease of financial transactions with credit cards, wallets and other means thousands of Indians are getting into online sports betting on a monthly basis. Leading online bookmakers have constantly been focussing on the Indian market. Its 1.3 billion people and remarkable love for the game of cricket make it one of the most conducive territories for online sports betting. The first wave of cricket betting in India was led by small bookmakers over phone operating in a shady world. With the fast penetration of Internet and growth of digital transactions online bookmakers have become extremely popular in India. These bookmakers have been able to introduce betting to the educated and working class something that the illegal bookmakers weren’t able to achieve.
How to Bet in India on Cricket?
The ban on sports betting in India had given rise to a multi-million dollar illegal betting business. Prior to the entry of international online bookmakers most punters would have to rely on illegal agencies that allowed them to bet over the phone. Since these illegal bookmakers operated outside the preview of legal business framework their operations were extremely shady and remain the same. They often deceive unsuspecting punters. While there are people who are still betting over the phone there are good reasons you need to stay away from betting on sports through agencies that operate only over the phone and here we list some of them –
- It Is Illegal – Betting over phone though such agencies remains illegal and the law enforcement agencies constantly hunt down these bookmakers. As a punter you will constantly have to live under the fear of bookmakers falling into the hands of the police and other agencies and inviting the wrath of the law once your name is revealed.
- No Transaction Trail – Betting over phone happens only with hard cash and there is no trail of transactions. There have been repeated instances when bookmakers have run away with money when bets tend to go against their own interests.
- Match Fixing – Match fixing isn’t unknown to cricket fans in India and they have seen one of their greatest captains being banned for life and also controversies during the IPL. Illegal bookies have tried to influence the game in order to increase their profits. Not only is this against the spirit of the game but also denies punters to bet logically and win purely on the merits of the players and their performances.
- Businesses Without Good Faith – There are no terms and conditions for such businesses and no business protocols. When you bet with these bookmakers you are simply doing it under trust which isn’t written or codified. The odds of this trust being broken by the bookmaker remain high.
- No Complaint Redressal – In case you have been cheated by the bookmaker or they refuse to pay you for your win there is pretty much nothing that can be done about it. Neither can you lodge a formal complaint with any law enforcement agency nor is there an established complaint redressal system from the bookmaker’s side which will resolve your problems.
- Greed over Reasoning – While this is little to do with the bookmaker often greed tends to overpower reasoning. People bet more than they can afford since it seems easy over the phone. This isn’t the case while betting online where one needs to deposit before placing a bet. Many people have lost their life’s savings while betting over phone thanks to greed and the absences of checks and balances in the system.
- Defaults can be Dangerous – Since this industry operates illegally without any guarantee bookmakers often employ hardened criminals to recover dues from their customers. People who have failed to pay up their dues have been harassed, humiliated and suffered physical attacks from these criminals.
Why Bet With International Bookmakers?
As we have stated above gambling in sports remains banned in India by law. The only betting sites that operate out of India allow you to place bets on virtual games where you can wager on picking the playing XI and competing for the total number of points that the team gathers. You can’t bet on the actual games or wager on the performances of individual players and other events that happen during the game. Since there are no betting sites operating out of India due to the law you can easily bet on international betting sites. This isn’t restricted as per law and you will be able to bet from anywhere on their websites and mobile apps.
The second and the most important reason for betting online are security and professionalism that these platforms offer. We have highlighted the several ills of betting over phone in the illegal market. When you wager with an online international bookmaker you will neither have to fear law or have doubts about pay outs. These are professionally run companies which follow strict code of conduct. These sites ride on their reputation and they would go to any lengths to offer you the most customer-friendly experiences and improve their brand reputation.
Online bookmakers let you bet on dozens of markets which wasn’t possible with illegal bookmakers over phone. Apart from betting on the outcome of the games and choosing the top performers you can also take part in in-play betting which is entertaining and rewarding at the same time. From most sixes to the number of extras bowled during a game there are limitless possibilities with online bookmakers. Thanks to the several digital payment options available you can sign-up and get started in no time and also receive your pay-out within hours. There are no phone calls to be made nor do you have to be at the mercy of an illegal bookmaker or the criminal gang that provides protection to their businesses.
To conclude if you feel you have the knowledge and understanding of the game to mint money in the world of betting you should choose a reputable online bookmaker. You can get started with betting on their websites and mobile apps with ease. International bookmakers allow Indians to use wallets and their credit cards for transactions and offer customer support in Indian languages. They make your entry into the world of cricket betting smooth and gratifying.