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The curious mismatch between digital innovation in India and local online gambling bans

With more than half a billion internet subscribers it’s no surprise that Indian casino and sports bettors are looking for the best innovations in the market. 


But are state laws meeting demand, when it comes to players having the chance to place their bets at an online casino in India, or not?


Digital innovation is rapidly changing the business environment as we know it. While private and public sectors embrace these changes, the speed of innovation does pose a few risks.


Loss of information privacy, intellectual property breaches, cyber terrorism and digital fraud are all threats faced due to digital innovation. Often the only way to fight these risks is via strict regulation.


Instead of paving the way to outright bans, legislation should be put into place prioritizing regulation of digital innovation. For example, creating laws on cybersecurity is essential to digital transformation. 


The rate of innovation must be met with relevant legislation. But at the same time, legislation needs to be fair. 


The impact of the latest digital innovations in India

After a very contentious 2022 budget announcement, Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman promised a digital rupee as early as late 2022. 


This would place India well above most countries in terms of Cryptocurrencies. In 2021, El Salvador became the first country to make a digital currency official, when Bitcoin became legal tender. 


The last year has also seen the promise of e-passports and tax on cryptocurrencies. Artificial Intelligence and digital extended realities have also been considered as important developments in India in the last year. 


Online gambling laws


India has shown massive strides in the creation of innovative ideas, but they still have a way to go when meeting these advancements with current laws.


Most of the country is still regulated by outdated laws. The Public Gambling act of 1867 makes no mention no mention in the law of placing sports bets online, taking part in an online poker tournament, playing online teen patti for real cash or taking a virtual spin on an online slot. 


While India embraces all these new innovations, inconsistent gambling laws make it tricky for most of the states’ punters to embrace state legislations.


Even though it is up to each state to choose the local legality of gambling, it’s not always clear which way the locals of a state might want to go. 


The ideal would be for an Indian wide law regulating and allowing for sports betting, casinos and poker players. While setting regulations in place on gambling taxation and problem gambling. 


 At the moment each of the 28 states can regulated gambling within their own borders. Although in the long run the ideal might be for an updated country wide gambling act, this is probably not viable in the short term. 


For the time being, the best to hope for is that most states take an definitive stand on either regulating or placing a ban on the practice. 

The positives of regulation do seem to outweigh the benefits of an outright ban. As innovation grows at an exponential rate, it makes more sense for a higher national power to create overruling laws.

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