The Indian government has taken a firm stance on gambling throughout its history, with strict restrictions in place in most regions. However, in recent years they have acknowledged that times are changing and there is a wealth of tax money just waiting to be collected, and this has triggered a few interesting changes and movements within the country.
There are licensed casinos in some states, including Goa, Sikkim and Daman. These are spreading and there are plans afoot to relax the laws in other states so that they can also operate casinos.
As things stand, Goa is the biggest region for offline casinos and gambling in general and can serve as an example to other states. Tourism has been climbing in the region for over 30 years now, and between 2010 and 2015 it increased by more than ever, jumping a huge 76%.
The gambling industry in India is said to be worth in excess of $60 billion a year. And the most surprising thing about this is that it doesn’t include online gambling. There are more laws against online gambling than there are against offline gambling, with few regions permitting it.
However, there are many overseas gambling companies like Dafabet taking millions of dollars in bets every day and these seem to be operating freely. There is a good chance that these companies, along with the illegal gambling market, could spur the government into action. After all, legalisation would stem the flow of illegal activity and also ensure that the money went to them instead of the foreign betting sites.
Gambling is largely uncontrolled in Europe and as a result they profit hugely from this industry. Not only does it attract a lot of tourists (just think of all the people who flock to Monte Carlo just to play at their world famous casino) but it also collects a lot of money in tax, while creating thousands of jobs.
The UK is a prime example. It’s a small country with a small population, but its gambling industry is worth over £14 billion. Just imagine how big the gambling sector could be in India if they had similar laws. It’s a much bigger country, with way more potential, and unlike the UK, which is surrounded by countries where gambling is legal, India is surrounded by countries with strict gambling laws.
It could become a mecca for gambling in Asia, and if that happens then it can also benefit in the following ways:
- More money for the advertising sector, as gambling brands have multi-million dollar advertising budgets.
- Potentially millions of jobs for casinos, sports books, and more.
- Revenue from local casinos and lotteries can help to boost community projects.
- A large sum of foreign money coming in to boost the economy.
- More money and jobs in the tourism sector.
- A hotspot for major poker tournaments and other events.
- A boost in the local sporting economy, which can promote soccer and other sports in India.
Of course, there is a reason these laws exist and there are concerns that relaxed gambling laws can lead to problem gambling and create issues within poorer communities. But with more money, more jobs and more opportunities, as well as a bigger role for India to play on the world stage, the pros surely outweigh the cons.