Cricket Gambling Is Transitioning Online in Asia And That Is A Positive Development.
Gambling has always been a subject of taboo and illegality ever since it was first practiced. What initially began as a form of entertainment has gradually transformed into a fully-fledged commercial industry, with numerous individuals relying solely on gambling as their primary source of income. Sports gambling has enjoyed popularity for centuries, dating back to the early days of the Olympics and the fierce battles between gladiators in the Roman colosseums.
Gambling has been conducted on a wide range of sports, encompassing horse racing, football, NBA, NFL, and more, with fans and enthusiasts of each sport placing bets on their favored events. In Asia, specifically in the countries of the Indian subcontinent such as India, Pakistan, Bangladesh, and Sri Lanka, cricket betting has been deeply ingrained for a considerable period of time.
While in certain Asian regions like Macau and Hong Kong, betting is legal, the majority of countries, including India, regard betting as illegal and punishable under the law.
This has led to the emergence of a significant underground market for illicit betting operations. According to a recent study, nearly 3 lakh crore rupees are exchanged annually within the Indian illicit betting market. This substantial figure poses a considerable risk to hundreds of thousands of bettors who engage with unscrupulous bookies and bookmakers due to the illegal nature of the business.
Over the past decade, Asian nations have experienced remarkable economic growth, emerging as some of the fastest-growing economies globally. Incomes have consistently risen, resulting in an improved quality of life for many. Simultaneously, the sales and utilization of smartphones have witnessed rapid growth, accompanied by increased internet connectivity.
This trend has caused a shift towards online services, with betting being no exception. Despite the illegality of betting in numerous countries, the regulations surrounding online betting are often lacking, effectively creating a legal gray area for online betting in many nations. As a result, an increasing number of international bookmakers such as BetWay, Bet365, and Casumo have initiated online operations targeting Asian countries.
Given that cricket is immensely popular across Asia, it comes as no surprise that there exists a substantial market for cricket betting in the region.
The majority of online betting sites are subject to regulation by reputable gaming authorities, which enhances their credibility in terms of safeguarding personal information and ensuring the security of funds deposited with these platforms. Compared to dubious underground bookmakers, online operations offer a higher level of transparency concerning odds and payouts, making the entire process more reliable and trustworthy.
Online betting simplifies the process of live betting for punters, enabling them to place bets on various aspects of an ongoing cricket match, such as individual scores, partnerships, runs in an over, and the mode of dismissal for the next wicket. This real-time betting opportunity creates fresh avenues for earning, benefiting both the bookies and punters alike.
The majority of online betting sites are situated in European countries and operate under the laws applicable in those jurisdictions, which effectively exempts them from the regulations in countries where betting is prohibited. As a result, players can engage in betting without concerns about legal repercussions and have confidence in the security of their wagers.
Illicit betting syndicates have gained notoriety for their involvement in match-fixing, as evident from various match-fixing scandals that have surfaced in the past. Allegations of match-fixing have plagued domestic tournaments like the Ranji Trophy, international matches, and more recently, T20 leagues such as the IPL. However, with the increasing shift of betting to online platforms, it is expected that such incidents will gradually decrease. As the cloak of illegality dissipates, online betting can provide a more equitable environment for all, fostering a level playing field.
The prevalence of illegal betting has contributed significantly to widespread corruption, as running such an extensive operation without the involvement of authorities is virtually impossible. With the emergence of online betting, the potential for corruption is expected to decrease. Moreover, as regulations pertaining to online betting are formulated, it presents the government with opportunities to generate revenue through taxation. Estimates indicate that tax revenue from online betting could potentially reach up to 19,000 crore rupees, providing a new source of income for the government.
Therefore, as cricket betting transitions to the online sphere, it becomes a mutually beneficial scenario for all parties involved, including bookies, players, and the government.