Inside the World of Cricket and Gambling in India

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On the surface, cricket appears to be a high-octane sport that appeals to sports-lovers in India and beyond. Every match is a spectacle for its fans, with an emotional undercurrent.

However, if we look closely, we will find another swarm of people who are equally enthralled and basking in the euphoria of the sport.

They are the gamblers and bettors who enjoy having a flutter and even a splurge when it comes to cricket. Despite the complicated and often murky landscape of gambling and betting laws in India, they have thrived and how!

These two starkly different worlds exist in parallel, one wallowing in emotions and the other in money. They’ve, however, found a middle ground in hope – the hope to win and watch their faves win.

Cricket connoisseurs who have taken the moral high ground might scoff at the bettors, but they would still connect over their love for the sport. Such is the craze that despite their incongruity, they turn out to be similar on many levels.

A live match, for instance, keeps viewers glued to their TV screens and bettors glued to their computer or mobile screens. They must watch the game unfold, the former for entertainment and the latter for the moolah.

Both diligently study the pitch conditions, participating teams, their skills, techniques, and other traditional aspects of the sport in order to weigh up possible wins. While viewers want their favorite cricketers to win, bettors want to ensure they’ve placed the right bets .

There’s another type: tipsters, who make predictions as a profession. From toss winners to match winners, they cover everything. Thanks to the widespread availability of cheap internet data packages and the boom in smartphone sales, betting and tipping are now a thing in the country.

During the Indian Premier League and other major cricket tournaments, such activities are at their peak. High traffic can be seen on gambling sites such as 10Cric, LeoVegas, and ComeOn which have a large user base in India.

The roars in the stadium, however, excite only the spectators and not the bettors. If their favorites win, the former celebrate in public and the latter in private, perhaps lost in the thought of the law, which is always open to interpretation.

The debate about whether cricket betting is legal in India is real! On paper, it is illegal, although cricket is a skill-based sport. However, the affiliation of the BCCI to esports and fantasy sports platforms such as My11Circle, Mobile Premier League (MPL), and Dream11 suggests otherwise.

Functional behind the scenes is a loophole in the law that says nothing about betting on cricket online through international platforms. Moreover, there has been no progress in regulating cricket betting in India. In the absence of regulations, it makes perfect sense to bet online without breaking the law.

We don’t hold strong opinions about whether cricket betting should be legalized and regulated. However, one thing is certain: as long as cricket exists, viewers and bettors will coexist in India.



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