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The global pandemic has had a major impact on sporting events in India and across the world. Aside from the cancellation of many events, crowds have also been prohibited or reduced.
The restrictions on sports have had an impact on the betting industry. In India, this impact has especially been felt in the cricketing world where the popularity of betting is highest. The most significant effect that pandemic restrictions have had on cricket betting is the inability to bet on events that have not taken place, such as the IPL in 2020. The impact of crowd restrictions has not been as great.
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Betting on sports is hugely popular in India. Around 140 million people in the country place bets regularly. This number can increase to around 370 million when big events like the IPL are happening.
However, betting on sports like cricket in person is not legal across most of the country. This means that, unlike in other countries, people do not bet on events in stadiums and cricket grounds. Instead, most Indians choose to bet online. Doing so gives them the ability to bet on sporting occasions that are happening internationally, such as this year’s IPL which is taking place in the UAE.
Therefore, not being permitted to attend a cricket match does not make any difference to the ability to bet. Aside from this benefit, there are other reasons why online cricket betting is popular in India.
There are two major reasons why online cricket betting is popular with Indian sports fans. Firstly, there is nothing specifically illegal about placing a bet at an offshore sportsbook. This means that bettors can place a wager without facing the wrath of the authorities.
Secondly, there are many reputable offshore providers where bets can be placed as can be seen from the details laid out here. This means that individuals have access to safe and secure betting sites when they want to place a wager on a cricket match.
The legal situation is the major challenge to cricket betting in India. It’s possible that all betting, including using online sites, will be prohibited at some point. Of course, it’s also possible that the legal position will be relaxed making it easier to bet.
Another challenge to cricket betting in the country is the lack of Internet penetration with many people not having access to offshore online betting sites. This situation seems likely to ease in the coming years as according to Statista the number of Internet users in India is expected to increase to 1.5 billion by 2040. This is a huge increase from 749 million users in 2020.
Of course, there is always the potential for the pandemic to cause issues. Although, it seems unlikely that the cancellation of multiple events will happen again and a reduction of crowds does not have a major impact on cricket betting in India, as we have explained.