New operators have been keen to take advantage of the huge potential offered by the Indian gaming market. The only stumbling block is that most Indian betting laws are directed towards brick-and-mortar casinos and are yet to be fully customized to cater to online casinos. While there aren't many local online casinos, Indian players are forced to explore some of the best online sites that accept Indian punters.
Ancient gambling history
India has a long history of gambling. Historical texts show that Indian gambling history dates back to the 7300's BC. At the time, gambling activities revolved around board games. Moreover, gambling was a part of society's social fabric as it was never condoned or forbidden. The Mahabharata – the longest poem ever authored, and the story of the Indian prince, Yudhisthira Paandava, whose failure was attributed to his fondness to play dice games, are further underscored.
In 300BC, Buddhist texts indicate that Indians were gambling with nuts from the Bibhitaki trees as dice. The dice were later replaced by Astragali, which as the famous Passa game come about. Besides dice games, Indians also grew fond of gambling on animal events, including ram and cock fights. Over time, Indian bettors moved to the 'much advanced' horse racing games.
Fast forward, the gambling boom ripened in the 15th century, and this saw several legal gambling spaces open up across the country. However, gambling houses were heavily regulated at the time. These regulations were not chiefly directed towards player protection but ensured that 'taxes' were remitted to the king. Being among the first people to use 'dice like' elements and gaming tax, it is apparent that India has had a massive contribution towards modern-day gambling.
While India played a significant role in early gaming history, the Europeans greatly influenced it. In the 1970s, the introduction of cricket betting played a massive contribution in cultivating the sports betting culture in the country. Later in that century, the British introduced horseracing events in the country.
The prevalence of sports betting saw gambling grow out of control, necessitating some legislative frameworks. Key among this legislation was the Public gaming Act of 1867 that outrights made the operators of gambling houses in India illegal.
Indian betting in the 90s
Following India's independence from the British in 1950, the nation's position on betting was somewhat 'mixed up.' Gambling and betting matters were left to the state, and only state legislature had the mandate to change gambling laws, which also included setting taxes on betting and gambling.
India has been subject to pre-independent legislation regarding gambling for a long time. As such, the country's position on betting remained unchanged for the better part of the 20th century. As much as the principle of the Public Gambling Act of 1987 remained in the 90s, there were also several notable amendments, the most significant ones touching o the state's power towards betting and gambling.