India takes a tough stance on the idea of a casino industry, with land-based and online casinos effectively banned as illegal in the country. Many critics of this stance and proponents of a casino industry argue the government is missing out on an economic boon brought by a casino market. Those same people claim Indian customers are ready for casinos and will spend big if venues opened.
It is understandable that authorities are concerned about rolling out a casino industry in a country that has never really had one. However, looking to the United States could provide the blueprint for success in delivering viable new casino legislation that legalizes gambling both online and offline.
In the United States, gambling was illegal across most states for decades. Since 2018, the country has legalized casino gambling and industry is now evolving at a rapid pace. People across states can now access land-based and online casinos, as well as other iGaming resources. For example, finding a casino in Pennsylvania is easy by using a venue like bet-pa, something that was not possible a few years ago.
Could India take a same path?
India’s Casinos Laws
India’s casino laws are complex. The federal government says land-based and online casinos are illegal, but it’s actually down to individual states to create laws. So far, all states have adhered to the federal government’s framework.
Goa is a notable exception is Goa, where casinos are legal on cruise ships. Linked with tourism, gambling in Goa has proved casinos can bring an economic boon to a region. Those who advocate for a legal betting market point to Goa as an example of the riches Indian states can expect by legalizing online and land-based casinos.
In some ways, Goa is the Las Vegas of India. It currently stands apart from the rest of the country. Still, many believe it shows how casinos can bring jobs, a vibrant consumer market, and tax revenue to an economy.
Can India Follow the U.S. Blueprint?
Throughout modern history, the United States has taken a dim view of casinos. All forms of casino gambling were banned in the country under the Professional and Amateur Sports Protection Act (PASPA), which prevented any land-based or online casinos opening. Las Vegas was a notable example as Nevada was the only state with a full gambling infrastructure before PASPA was passed.
In 2018, lawmakers in the U.S. took a major step by abolishing PASPA. Under the new legislation, states became free to create their own casino laws, or not.
Following the change, many states created their own gambling legislation, paving the way for casinos to varying degrees. Some have opened doors for both land-based and online casinos, and some have limited casino development to brick-and-mortar venues.
Because India’s states are already allowed to create their own gambling laws – but have not done so – the country is well-positioned to follow a similar path to the United States. Allowing a state-by-state process could be the way forward if India is ever going to have a robust gambling industry.
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2014 The Global Indian New Network (TGINN)