Despite the fact that gambling is illegal in India, fantasy sports betting keeps being very profitable.
Fantasy sports betting is considered a skill-based game, making it a legal venue for gambling.
The head of All India Gaming Federation, Rolando Landers, said: “Online skill gaming in India was already on a growth trajectory in the first half of the calendar year and the last quarter has witnessed a major spike in the business”.
According to the KPMG and the Federation of Indian Fantasy Sports, gross revenues reached US$326 million for the 2020 fiscal year, against a gross revenue of just US$125 million for the year prior.
Betting is allowed on horse racing in India even though regular sports betting is illegal. Skill-based betting is allowed under the law and that’s the category where horseracing falls in.
In India, gambling is a matter of gray areas where some sports fall into illegality while others are perfectly allowed, such are the cases with horse racing and rummy in contrast with cricket and poker which are banned.
With poker, on the other hand, it’s not very clear. Poker is widely considered a skill game, however in some states within India, it’s not legal to have stakes with real money while playing poker online in other states is still allowed. The Public Gambling Act, 1867, prohibits running a public gambling house while only games of mere skill are exempt from the application of the Act. While this seems to be a pretty clear way of identifying what is legal or what isn’t, there are exceptions in some states where the wording of local laws makes it so that a definite answer falls into doubt.
Because of this, the Indian lawmakers decided to take the matter into specifically classifying each game into two categories: “games of skill” and “games of chance”.
All in all, the number of users has increased from 2 million in 2016 to over 90 million in 2019, so this will only go up as more and more people are starting to take their daily activities into staying home and finding more and more ways of entertainment that won’t make you go outside.