How Has COVID-19 Affected Sports Betting in India?

How Has COVID-19 Affected Sports Betting in India?

The COVID-19 outbreak has been unexpected and detrimental to many industries around the globe, including the sports betting industry. In India, the effects of COVID-19 have led to a restriction of mass events and a full lockdown. But, how has that translated to the sports betting industry? Since the number of sports events during the lockdown was extremely limited, the sports scene took a big blow, and group sporting events, such as cricket, football, and basketball, were the ones that suffered the most.

Still, a positive thing that has come out of this unfortunate situation is the discovery of less popular sports, such as horse racing and esports tournaments. With a newly found interest in these sports, the online gambling market has blossomed and opened many new doors for punters from India.

Nevertheless, those bettors who did not find lesser-known sports interesting have had to look elsewhere for other forms of entertainment. One of them includes online gambling. Online gambling is an industry on the rise, as there is an increasing number of newly established online casinos with an array of first-class casino games.

More People Discovering Online Gambling

Almost all sports events were cancelled or postponed indefinitely when the first wave of the virus hit. With such an unexpected turn, people had to find other sources of entertainment.

This year, people from India have searched for online casinos more than ever, as they’ve been looking for a substitute for cricket betting. Therefore, it shouldn’t come as a surprise that the online gambling industry has reached an all-time high in 2020 due to the global pandemic.

During the lockdown, online gambling stepped in as a much-needed escape from reality. Even people who were not familiar with all online gambling options were prepared to step out of their comfort zone and try out a different method of entertainment. As a result, they discovered a range of first-class online casino games with betting options for both high rollers and inexperienced players.

Still, the legality of online gambling and sports betting in India is a bit complex, as all states are allowed to regulate them how they see fit. For that reason, and to stay on the safe side, many Indian punters have chosen to visit offshore betting and gambling sites, where they could bet freely with the use of VPNs.

Online Gambling on the Rise

Since an increasing number of people has shown interest in online gambling, sports betting websites have decided to diversify their offer. In fact, those sports betting sites that had the option to introduce online casino games on their website during the lockdown took the opportunity and went with it. It turned out to be one of the best decisions for their brand, as sports matches were scarce in the first half of 2020.

Players who couldn’t place wagers on their favourite sports anymore turned from cricket betting to playing online slots, table games, jackpots, scratch cards, bingo, live dealer games, and more. Once they started looking for suitable alternatives, it was not that challenging to find them.

Similarly, the online gambling market saw an increase in esports betting. Although not many old-fashioned punters are familiar with the rules of esports, the lack of sports betting options led to them getting acquainted with lesser-known sports.

How to Control Your Online Gambling

With an increased interest in online gambling, the issue of problem gambling has come up. It is a serious problem that needs to be dealt with carefully and cautiously. Luckily, there are numerous ways that can help you control your gambling habits without them losing their fun factor.

With today’s growing technological innovations, online casinos and gambling sites have come up with ways to help their users stay on the right track when gambling. Many of the top-notch gambling sites offer weekly or monthly betting limitations. For example, if you have trouble managing your own finances, you can turn on this handy feature that will let you deposit a certain amount to serve as your weekly or monthly gambling budget. That way, you cannot overbet and spend money that you do not have. On the contrary, you will have a predetermined sum that you can use on casino games of your choice, so you won’t have to worry about overspending on your online gambling journey.

Furthermore, there are other ways to help manage your gambling habits. Many gambling sites with a UK-issued license use the services of GamStop — an online self-exclusion tool that helps restrict your gambling activities. On top of that, you will see that many top-grade online casinos want to stay ahead of problem gambling by employing the services of gambling organisations. Some of the top organisations you can come across are Gambling Commission, GamCare, Gamblers Anonymous, Responsible Gambling, and Gambling Therapy, among others.

By taking advice from these organisations, you will be able to control yourself while gambling without taking the fun out of it. However, if you still end up feeling as if your online gambling activities are spinning out of control, it might be best to take a break and ask for professional help.

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Andrew Halligan
Andrew Halligan
Andrew is our lead sports writer. He covers all the latest news in sports and excels in football and horse racing. Andrew is also the presenter of YouTubes horse racing podcast - The Finishing Line, where he gives the week's best betting tips on horse racing. His in-depth knowledge of betting on sports and online betting has become renowned in the world of horse racing and further afield.