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The Indian gaming industry is no longer reserved for deities, or related to certain events such as festivals, but an everyday ordeal. Pixabay

Gambling in India is as old as India itself, so it is not surprising that more and more online casinos accept Indian punters, looking for new and innovative ways to place their bets. One of the first mentions of gambling in India dates back to around 7300BC and the Ramayana, the most important Sanskrit epic. The famous scroll notes dice games, and games played on a board, quite similar to chess, while another epic, Mahabharata, describes Shiva and Parvati placing bets against each other, what Parvati, in the end, considers to be more fun than making love to her husband, one of the principal deities of Hinduism.

The Indian gaming industry is no longer reserved for deities, or related to certain events such as festivals, but an everyday ordeal. The Indian gambling market is estimated at $60 billion per year, albeit 50% of it comes from illegal gambling houses and unregistered venues. But, despite all that, there is a single trend that stands out – the rapid growth of the online casino industry.

But why do more and more Indians opt for online gambling, instead of good old betting on street corners?

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Market Size

In 2020, there were 1,380,004,385 people living in India, thus making it one of the most interesting and lucrative markets for companies worldwide, and gaming operators are no exception. Indian gambling industry is growing at a rate of 20% per year, which is more than anywhere else in the world, and the projections show how high growth tendencies won’t stop soon.

Online casino firms quickly realized India’s potential, decided to join the party, and offer some highly customized deals that will attract punters from New Delhi, Mumbai, and Jodphur. They even support localized payment methods and INR as the main currency. Furthermore, specialized websites offering content such as 1xbet casino review, or other casino and games reviews, are popping up like mushrooms after rain. Everyone is ready to grab their piece of Indian cake, whether it be an online casino, or a specialized affiliate website, providing instructions on how to play and where.

Gambling in India is as old as India itself, so it is not surprising that more and more online casinos accept Indian punters, looking for new and innovative ways to place their bets. Pixabay

The Rise of Modern Technology

According to some researchers, it is expected that in 2023, there will be 500 million mobile internet users. In 2017, only around 35% of the Indian population was using the internet (around 480 million people), but as it can be concluded, trends are changing dramatically, and most importantly, fast.

Modern technology such as smartphones, laptops, and tablets, is reforming the way we think, act, and make decisions. Let’s face it, we spend more and more time online and tend to use more online services then we did 10 years ago. Online casinos are no exception, and as one of the most popular gambling markets in the world, which is “going online” incredibly fast, India is one of the most desired investment territories for gambling operators.

As every corner of India, no matter how small or distanced, becomes interconnected with others, it also opens itself to a whole plethora of online sites. Casinos quickly grasped this opportunity and decided to solve one of the main issues of the Indian gambling scene – accessibility.

Lack of Gambling Establishments

Imagine trying to sell an online casino to someone in Las Vegas – it would be like trying to sell snow to Eskimo. But, when it comes to India, things look quite different as the casino industry is highly restricted.

Considering there is no universal gambling law for the entire Indian territory, it is upon the local governments to decide how and if they want to allow gambling. Unfortunately, the majority of local authorities don’t make a clear stand and define gambling conditions in a transparent and easy to understand way. For instance, gambling in brick-and-mortar venues is explicitly allowed only in Sikkim, Goa, and Daman, while online gambling is not even perceived as relevant, despite the fact it has already become a multi-billion dollar industry.

Online casinos have managed to introduce gambling to every household with an internet connection, making it more accessible than ever. In addition to that, they also tend to offer more than a single type of gambling so, for instance, you can play casino games, place sports bets and buy lottery tickets on a single website, instead of having to take a trip to Goa, or visit some shady dent in a sleazy part of town.

The Indian gambling market is estimated at $60 billion per year, albeit 50% of it comes from illegal gambling houses and unregistered venues. But, despite all that, there is a single trend that stands out – the rapid growth of the online casino industry. Pixabay

Regulatory Framework

This article already mentions how Indian authorities show little to no initiative to create legislation adjusted to this day and age. The majority of gambling laws in India are not only outdated but also based on some premises and approaches that have long been abandoned as irrelevant. For instance, they focus on morale and ethics, instead of implementing rigorous licensing checks and creating a safe gambling environment – something that has been a trend in the European Union for over a decade.

Unfortunately, such an approach attracts not only solid, reputable companies, but online casino scams as well. As a great market, with no industry watchdog or strict standards, it is open to renown and fraudulent operators alike, thus leaving customers unprotected. And while there surely is a great number of companies licensed by prestigious authorities such as MGA or UKGC, there are also some companies that operate in India without any regulatory framework. They simply take advantage of the lack of any regulation, and a major market to get their hands on as many unsuspecting customers as possible.

ALSO READ: Increased Foreign Investments into India’s Gaming Market

Future of Online Casinos in India

Even though the online gambling market is experiencing incredible growth, this is a phase that won’t last forever. It will probably be followed by a consolidation period within a few years, in which both authorities, customers, and online casinos will be introduced to new laws, trends, and possibilities. The good news is that the consolidation period is, in most cases, a positive change for consumers who can enjoy their games in a regulated environment, and with regulated companies that operate legally.

(Disclaimer: The article is sponsored, and hence promotes some commercial links.)


Photo by Wikimedia Commons.

Char Dham Yatra resumed on Friday with more than 16,000 devotees resuming the pilgrimage from the Rishikesh camp.

As weather cleared up in Uttarakhand, Char Dham Yatra restored on Friday with more than 16,000 devotees resuming the pilgrimage from the Rishikesh camp.

According to sources, road leading to Badrinath has been repaired and helicopter service has also resumed.

Meanwhile, Uttarakhand Chief Minister Pushkar Singh Dhami visited Dungi village and met families of people who were missing after the landslip incident, and consoled them.

Dhami assured them of all possible assistance. Two people from the village are still reported to be missing.

Pilgrims were seen leaving from Rishikesh Char Dham Bus terminal and Haridwar bus station for the pilgrimage since morning.

As per the state government, various departments -- Devasthanam Board, police are assisting the pilgrims.

Police Chowki Yatra Bus Terminal, Rishikesh, was announcing passenger-information via loudspeaker.

Free RT-PCR tests of pilgrims were being conducted at Rishikesh bus terminal.

Uttarakhand Char Dham Devasthanam Management Board's media in-charge Dr Harish Gaur said pilgrimage was on in Kedarnath, Gangotri and Yamunotri, while for Kedarnath, helicopter service was also available.

Though the weather was cold in all dhams, thankfully there was no rain, he added.

Portals of the temple in Badrinath will close on November 20, Gangotri on November 5, while that of Kedarnath and Yamunotri on November 6.

Uttarakhand floods, triggered by a major downpour from October 17 to 19, have claimed 65 lives so far, 3,500 people have been rescued while 16,000 evacuated to safety.

Seventeen teams of National Disaster Response Force (NDRF), seven teams of State Disaster Response Force (SDRF), 15 companies of Provincial Armed Constabulary (PAC) and 5,000 police personnel have been engaged in rescue and relief operations.

The state has already been provided with Rs 250 crore Disaster Fund which is being used for relief works.

To prevent spread of the diseases, the Central and state governments have decided to send medical teams to the affected areas.

Snapped power lines will be restored at the earliest, the government assured.

The state government said that as soon as alert for heavy rainfall was issued, the Incident Response System was activated at state and district levels, and pilgrims were halted at safer places. (IANS/JB)

Keywords: Uttarakhand, India, Char Dham Yatra, PushkarDhami, Rishikesh.

Photo by Wikimedia Commons.

Naga leaders are adamant in their main demands for a separate Constitution and flag.

The Centre has continued the Naga peace talks with the Isak-Muivah faction of National Socialist Council of Nagalim (NSCN-IM) leaders, but negotiations face roadblocks as the Naga leaders are adamant in their main demands for a separate Constitution and flag.

The sources aware of these developments said that the Centre was hopeful that a successful solution of the six decades-long peace talks would arrive at a logical conclusion, but in the recent statements, Naga leaders have accused the Centre of offering post-solution options.

Sources quoting the stand of Naga leaders said that NSCN's stand was loud and clear that it would not follow the forbidden route to the Naga solution that was linked to foregoing the Naga national flag and Constitution, which is the face of the Naga political struggle and identity.

The Naga leaders have also said that the Centre has been using divisive policy and flattery in the name of finding the Naga political solution when the matters heated up.

When the Centre resumed the peace process in September this year and sent the former special director of the Intelligence Bureau (IB) A.K. Mishra as the Ministry of Home Affairs' emissary to the rebel outfit's chief negotiator and general secretary T. Muivah, he assured him (Muivah) that the peace talks would be initiated under the original framework signed in 2015, a source in the Naga rebel group said.

"Here we are talking about the Naga national flag and Yehzabo (Constitution), the two issues that are holding up the Naga solution under the ongoing Indo-Naga political talks in Delhi.

"The chequered history of the Indo-Naga political issue is clear enough before us, with accords and agreements that were never meant to be implemented in letter and spirit", an important office-bearer of the rebel outfit said while criticizing the governments' stand.

Accusing the Centre, he further accused the Centre of persuading the Naga people again to accept whatever is being offered to hurry up the Naga talks.

On the invitation of the Centre, the senior leaders of the NSCN-IM including T. Muivah arrived in the national capital on October 6 this year to hold another round of talks with the Centre.

Both, the Centre and the Naga leaders had indicated their keenness on resolving this long pending issue by the end of this year in an amicable manner.

Assam Chief Minister Himanta Biswa Sharma, who is also chairman of North East Democratic Alliance (NEDA), and Nagaland Chief Minister Neiphiu Rio had been actively involved in the resumption of the peace talks and taking it forward to a logical conclusion.

Soon after the transfer of Nagaland Governor R.N. Ravi, who was appointed as the Centre's interlocutor for the Naga peace talks on August 29, 2014, to Tamil Nadu, the peace talks resumed on September 20 in Kohima when the Centre representative met the Naga leaders and invited them to visit Delhi for further rounds of peace talks.

The NSCN-IM and the other outfits entered into a ceasefire agreement with the Government of India in 1997 and over 80 rounds of negotiations with the Centre have been held in the past in successive governments. (IANS/JB)

Keywords: Nagaland, India, Constitution, Politics, Flag.

Photo by Wikimedia Commons

India-England test series will now be played next year from July 1 at Edgbaston Stadium

The series decider for the Test series between England and India will now be played at Edgbaston from July 1 next year, said the England and Wales Cricket Board (ECB) on Friday. India is currently leading the series 2-1 before the fifth Test at Old Trafford was cancelled hours before the start due to concerns over COVID-19 outbreak in the tourists' camp.

"The fifth match of the LV= Insurance Test Series between England Men and India Men has been rescheduled and will now take place in July 2022. The match, which was due to take place last month at Emirates Old Trafford, was called off when India were unable to field a team due to fears of a further increase in the number of Covid-19 cases inside the camp," said an ECB statement.

"With India leading the series 2-1, the concluding fifth match will now take place from July 1, 2022, at Edgbaston, following an agreement between the England and Wales Cricket Board (ECB) and the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI)," added the statement.

ECB also said that due to the rescheduled Test, the white-ball series between England and India will now start six days later than originally planned. The T20I series will begin on July 7 at Ageas Bowl with Edgbaston and Trent Bridge hosting the second and third matches respectively on July 9 and 10. It will be followed by the ODI series starting on July 12 at The Oval followed by Lord's and Old Trafford hosting the second and third ODI on July 14 and 17 respectively.

"Ticket holders do not have to take any action as all tickets will remain valid for the equivalent rearranged matchday at their host venue. Host venues will communicate the new fixture details to ticket purchasers and the options available to them, including the timeframe for requesting a refund if they are not able to attend the new match day," further said the statement.

"We are very pleased that we have reached an agreement with BCCI to creating a fitting end to what has been a brilliant series so far. I'm very grateful to all the venues involved for the cooperation they've shown in allowing us to reschedule this match. I'd also like to thank Cricket South Africa for their support and understanding to allow these changes to be possible," said Tom Harrison, the CEO of the ECB.

"We would like to apologise again to fans for the disruption and disappointment of September events. We know it was a day that so many had planned long in advance. We recognise that accommodating this extra match means a tighter schedule for the white ball series. We will continue to manage our players' welfare and workloads through next year while we also continue to seek the optimum schedule for fans, players and our partners across the game."

"I am delighted that the England-India Test series will now have its rightful conclusion. The four Test matches were riveting, and we needed a fitting finale. The BCCI recognizes and respects the traditional form of the game and is also mindful of its role and obligations towards fellow Board Members. In the last two months, both BCCI and the ECB have been engaged in discussions and our efforts were aimed at finding a suitable window. I thank the ECB for their understanding and patience in finding an amicable solution," said BCCI Secretary Jay Shah. (IANS/JB)

Keywords: India, Britain, BCCI, Test Match, Cricket.