IS India the gambling industry’s greatest untapped resource?
The nation with 1.3 billion citizens has a huge economy with a gross Domestic Profit of over $2.4 trillion, surpassing those of countries like Russia, Canada, and Brazil.
However, gambling in India is heavily restricted, except for some selective categories including horse racing and lotteries. Just like the United States, individual states in India have the right to initiate, licence, and regulate gambling.
With gambling outlawed in most states of India despite the country being sports and often betting mad, illegal betting is rampant. To curb this, a recent 145-page report from the Law Commission of India has recommending a nation-wide licensing and regulation of the industry.
The Commercial Director of Ingenuity Gaming, Jaydeep Chakravartty, said gambling had so much untapped potential in India as a government revenue source.
“Some unconfirmed reports have put the gambling market in India at $150 billion per year,” he said.
“Most of this is illegal gambling, and is controlled by the crime syndicates and does not generate any revenue for the government.
“By legalising sports betting in India, the government of the day can earn revenue, stop illegal gambling and also generate new jobs. It will be very difficult to put a number on how many jobs can be created by legalizing sports betting in India, however, to put things in perspective, one of the existing lottery operators, which has businesses in many states in India, has created 300,000+ jobs in one state alone.
“Their yearly revenue is in excess of $2 billion (from one state) and they have given $500 million as a tax to one state government alone. With the data we have in hand, I think the areas of job creation and revenue generation will get a big boost by legalising sports betting in India.”
Chakravartty is set to host a round table discussion at the forthcoming Betting on Sports event, where he plans to delve into the complex world of sports betting in India.
Despite describing India as “probably the last untapped market”, he remains doubtful that the “floodgate effect will occur anytime soon.”
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