India is one of those places where gambling is hit or miss. It’s only legal in a couple of states, and who knows if this will improve in the future? That leaves a lot of bettors out in the cold.
Your next-best option resides in a sort of gray area. You can bet online at offshore sports betting sites that accept customers from India.
Some of these sportsbooks are legit, while many more are not. If you want to join one of the legit ones, you have to learn how to separate the good apples from the bad ones.
There is a simpler approach. You can use our recommendations instead since we ONLY recommend good apples. You’ll find those betting sites in the list below. Choose any one of them to ensure that you’ll have a positive experience betting sports online.
|Rank||Betting Site||Deposit Bonus||Get Started|
|50% Up To $250||Visit Site|
|50% Up To $1,000||Visit Site|
|50% Up To $1,000||Visit Site|
|100% Up To $300||Visit Site|
|50% Up To $1,000||Visit Site|
Each online bookmaker above has been vetted by our team. In fact, several of our team members are customers at these places. You can bet your bankroll that that would only be the case if these were quality sites to bet with.
How do you know they’re quality sportsbooks? Because each one fits the following criteria.
The bottom line – you can feel good joining any of the sports betting sites in the list above.
If for whatever reason you’re not interested in these online bookmakers that accept Indians, we have written a couple of other guides that show you the best gambling sites and casinos that you might consider instead.
For everyone else, provided below is some information about betting in India. First, we’re going to answer a few questions about betting in India, including the legality of it and what your options are.
Next, we’ll talk about how to make more money by reducing or eliminating your sports betting expenses.
The last section will help you in your search for an online sportsbook. It will cover what the best sportsbooks online have in common and why these qualities should be important to you.
Let’s get to it.
We see and receive lots of questions about betting sports in India. The following are the most common questions and our answers.
Yes, to an extent.
Games of skill are legal in India. Horse race betting is considered a skill. Therefore, you can bet on horse races.
That’s about it offline, though.
Betting online is going to be illegal in most states due to the Information Technology Act 2000. The fines are substantial if you’re caught breaking the law, too — ₹90,000 per day if you’re caught gambling online.
There is an exception or two, though. Sikkim is one example. They are permitted to award gambling licenses to online operators and have begun doing so.
Everyone else will have to bet at offshore betting sites that accept customers from India.
Offshore sites are betting sites and online bookmakers that don’t operate from within the country you’re playing from. For example, if you live in India and play at a UK-based site, that is an offshore site.
If you join a gambling site that’s licensed in the UK, Malta, Alderney, or one of the other well-known and strict gambling jurisdictions, you know you’re in good hands. They won’t give a license to just any old site.
These jurisdictions also won’t hesitate to suspend or pull a site’s license if they think that it is up to no good. They also investigate consumer complaints.
We prefer to recommend these sites whenever possible. They are as safe, legit, and honest as it gets in the online gambling industry.
As for the other offshore sites, that’s a little tougher to figure out. Their licenses don’t often mean much. And the jurisdictions they’re licensed through don’t do much, if anything at all, when a site pulls a stunt.
The best way to determine if a gambling site is legit in those cases is to use our reviews. We have the industry experience and know-how to quickly determine if a site is worth recommending. If it’s not, we won’t do it, and that’s as simple as that gets.
Here’s a question for you – how often do you think professional handicappers win bets? Do they win 90% of their bets? 80%? 70%?
Not even close.
In fact, experts say that if a sports bettor is winning 60% of the time – in the long run – they’re passing up on profitable opportunities.
Hugely profitable sports bettors make their money by finding thin edges and exploiting them for larger sums. You don’t want to find a huge edge and bet $10. You want to find a tiny edge and bet $100. Then find 10 more opportunities just like it.
That’s how you maximize your profits.
However, not everyone is able to spend that kind of money. Some of us have much smaller bankrolls to work with. This means we have less room for error, which means it’s important to exploit every single edge we can find.
One such edge is your expenses – the cost of betting sports online. By itself, a singular expense won’t do much damage to your profits. Add them all together, though, and you’ll tear your hair out wondering how you’ll ever turn a profit.
That’s why one of the things you should do – especially if you’re on a budget – is cut or eliminate some of your expenses. The following are a few ideas for where you can start.
Deposit and withdrawal fees are some of the most costly expenses you’ll have betting online. You can easily pay $25-$75 for a bank wire, and that’s to the sportsbook. After that, your bank might charge you an additional $35-$60.
That’s not all, though. Credit and debit card fees can be as high as 12%, which is absolute craziness. Just imagine 10% or more taken off the top before your money ever reaches your hands.
One way to combat this is to simply compare sportsbooks. Find and choose the sportsbook that charges fewer fees – assuming all the other criteria matches what you’re looking for.
You might also try to find a sportsbook that gives you one free cash-out every month or free cash-outs if you meet a minimum. Then cash out as much as you can to take full advantage of that opportunity.
Something else you can do is use a different option entirely. For example, you might try using Bitcoin or another cryptocurrency.
One of the benefits to using cryptocurrencies is that they often have no fees since the sportsbook doesn’t have to pay a 3rd party to process the payments. Sometimes you might have a small fee from the sportsbook and/or the blockchain.
But this fee is peanuts compared to the fees you’ll pay using fiat currencies.
Vig is the abbreviation for vigorish, which is the name for the fees the sportsbooks add to their bets.
Each sportsbook charges a different amount of vig. Their margins are different. For example, some sportsbooks have a 2% margin, while others charge 5% or more.
The vig or margin also varies from sport to sport. It’s not something you can compare from a 30,000-foot view. You need to compare sport to sport or market to market at each sportsbook to truly figure out who offers the cheapest vig.
Don’t take this lightly, either. A 5% margin doesn’t sound like much – it’s only $5 for every $100 spent. But this adds up to $50 for every $1,000 spent and $500 for every $10,000 spent.
How many extra bets can you make with $50 or $500? How much extra profit can you make with that kind of extra money every month?
One way to quickly reduce the vig is to look for sportsbooks that offer dime lines or reduced juice. This is probably the easiest way to reduce the vig without having to do much research on your part.
Say you claim a deposit bonus or take a sportsbook up on their free bet offer. Once you do that, you’ll be obligated to fulfill their playthrough requirements.
The risk you face when fulfilling playthrough requirements is that you can lose your profits in the process. If you have to roll $100 over 8 times, you have to bet $800 before you can cash out.
It wouldn’t be abnormal by any stretch if you made a few bad bets and lost all your money. It happens all the time.
But what if the rollover was only 5x? What if you only had to wager $500 instead of $800? You’d reduce your obligation by $300. This would reduce your risk of losing your profits prior to being able to cash out.
This isn’t hard to do, either.
Our reviews are a good place to look for this kind of information.
It might mean accepting a smaller bonus, but it’s worth doing if your objective is to reduce your costs.
This isn’t a tip you can exploit often, unless it’s part of an ongoing promotion. But one thing you can do every so often to reduce your costs is to claim a free bet.
Free bets aren’t really free – they’re more like insurance. Here’s what we mean by that.
If you make a $10 bet and win, the sportsbook gives you nothing. You won, so why would they give you anything?
However, if you make a $10 bet and lose, the sportsbook will reimburse you that $10. You’re not out anything.
That’s exactly what we’re aiming for when the goal is to reduce our expenses.
Another area where you can be nickeled and dimed is when you join an online bookmaker that doesn’t allow you to deposit, bet, or cash out in rupees. They make you use a different currency instead.
This is massively inconvenient. That’s not the only problem, though.
You may also lose buying power if the rupee is weaker than whatever currency you’re forced to use (likely pounds, euros, or dollars).
Then there are the exchange rate fees. You can pay a couple of percentage points to as much as $5 per transaction. That’s an average, by the way. It might be higher depending on the banking option you use.
And do you remember when we talked about bookmaker margins above? It’s the same thing here. A couple percentage points doesn’t sound like much, but it all adds up.
Every little bit counts when you’re betting in small increments, too. Every dollar you can save matters when you’re operating on a thin win rate/margin.
You can avoid this issue by joining betting sites that let you deposit, bet, and cash out in your native currency. The best way to find these sites is to read our reviews.
One type of offer many betting sites make is to pay a percentage of your losses back to you each week in the form of a rebate. This might be 10% or 20% up to $200, $500, or $1,000 – it varies from place to place – but it’s money you’d lose otherwise to a sportsbook that doesn’t offer it.
And if you think about, you will never have an expense larger than the money you use to make your bets – your bankroll. So, reducing how much you lose each week is an excellent way to reduce your expenses.
Another thing that’s cool about this kind of offer is that many sportsbooks don’t make you roll them over. There’s no playthrough. That money you get back is yours to use however you please.
And even if they do make you roll your rebate over, it’s usually only a couple of times. That’s a relatively low risk when compared to offers such as welcome and reload bonuses.
Another expense some bettors have is paying for picks. You can easily pay hundreds of dollars per month, if not more, for advice on what to bet on.
We recommend you cut this expense out entirely and use this money to make additional bets instead. There are a few reasons why.
For one thing, not all handicappers are honest. You might be paying hundreds of dollars to someone who lied about their record and betting skills.
You’re also paying for picks that you could learn how to do yourself. There are plenty of guides on our website that can show you how to make more profitable bets than you’re making now.
Finally, there are plenty of quality services out there that offer their picks for free. Why pay money to someone who will make an educated guess (if it’s educated at all) on who/what to bet on when you can get that same thing for nothing at all?
This might be the easiest expense to cut.
Don’t sleep on this tip or any of the others above. Reduce or cut them as soon as you can. Imagine if you could cut $50 or $100 or more every month. What would that add to your bankroll? How much would that improve your win rate?
Would that finally push you over the edge into the black?
The only way to know for sure is to try these tips out and see for yourself.
Does the perfect online betting site exist?
Unlikely. We can’t think of a single sportsbook that’s perfect, much less a good fit for every single reader that hits our website.
Instead of looking for the perfect betting site, though, your time would be better spent looking for a great site, or one of the best.
The best betting sites will still have their imperfections. However, they will tick many of the following boxes which, by most people’s standards, will make them excellent places to bet on your favorite sports.
We just got done explaining how to reduce your expenses. One of those tips is to find sportsbooks with cheaper vig. You might see this talked about as low margins or reduced juice.
Instead of nickeling and diming you, the best sportsbooks offer opportunities for reduced juice knowing that their handicappers set strong enough lines. Many sportsbooks also deal with lower margins by focusing on accepting a larger volume of bets.
However they make it work on their end, these are the types of sportsbooks you want to join. Keep in mind that the reduced juice won’t apply to all their markets across the board. Many offer $0.08 and $0.10 lines on specific sports.
The best way to find out what markets are the cheapest is to read our reviews. You can also check out betting forums and subreddits for this information.
Few things suck more than feeling like you can’t win too much money without the sportsbook limiting your account or banning you altogether. But this happens every single day.
Not at the best sportsbooks, though. The best sportsbooks have a business model where they make adjustments based on how often people win. They’ll adjust their lines so that they can still make a profit.
You shouldn’t be punished because you put the time and effort in to become a proficient sports bettor. And at the best sportsbooks online, you won’t be.
There are sports bettors out there who make all or the majority of their profits from arbitrage betting.
These pricing discrepancies exist for several reasons. For example, maybe a sportsbook is running a promotion for reduced juice. They could also have different opinions about a match. Or maybe they’re slow to adjust their lines.
You could take advantage of these discrepancies which – if done right – would guarantee a profit or at the very least you breaking even despite the fact that you’re betting on all the outcomes.
Many sportsbooks dislike arbitrage bettors, though. They don’t fit the type of customer they want betting at their site. So, they will prohibit arbitrage betting in their terms or limit or ban anyone they suspect of arbitrage betting.
You want to avoid these sportsbooks if you can help it. We always try to include whether a sportsbook allows arbitrage betting when possible so that you can quickly determine if they’re right for you.
And if you want to be a winning sports bettor, they won’t be.
Betting promos help keep things exciting. They give you something extra to look forward to, whether that’s a free bet, rebates on your losses, or winning your Final Four bracket.
Crappy sportsbooks will offer an initial free bet or $20 bonus when you sign up. Then they’ll more or less ignore you afterwards.
The best sportsbooks will offer you a bonus when you sign up. Then once you’re done with that, they’ll offer additional free bets, rebates, reduced juice, and more to keep you coming back.
Our favorite sportsbooks also have event-specific promotions. They’ll have special bets or offers for events such as the Olympics, Super Bowl, Final Four, World Series, World Cup, and more.
These are the best sportsbooks to join.
When you win a large bet and decide to cash some of that out for yourself, you want it tomorrow, not several days or weeks from now.
Unfortunately, that’s not how many sportsbooks operate. At many sportsbooks, it can take a long time before you receive your check. And even then, you might not be confident that the check even clears the bank.
What makes all this even worse is that many sportsbooks will charge you fees for cash-outs. Then you’ll sometimes get hit with fees from your bank, too. That’s just added salt in the wound.
The best sportsbooks will pay you within a reasonable timeframe. You’ll receive checks in a week or less. E-wallets and credit cards take a day or five tops. Crypto payments are often processed in less than one day.
The bottom line – the best India sports betting sites pay their customers out quickly. These are the sportsbooks you want to join.
Many subpar sportsbooks are plain. They have the bare minimum – a few markets to bet on, an option for how to read/place your bets, and maybe mobile betting.
The best sportsbooks will offer tools and resources that you can use to make more profitable bets. This can include resources such as sport, team, and player data, betting picks, and news. They may also have features such as early cash-outs.
When used correctly, these tools can help you make more profitable bets. And in some cases, they will help to minimize your losing bets, too.
Now, you’re unlikely to find a sportsbook that checks all of these boxes. However, if you can find a sportsbook that checks two or three of these boxes, that’s pretty good.
Any more than that, though, and you will have found one of the best sportsbooks in the world. You should join that sportsbook and make a deposit immediately.
The biggest hurdle Indians face is their gambling laws. As is, online gambling is a gray area in Indian. It’s hard to tell when, or if, that will change.
For now, your best option is to join a quality offshore sportsbook – such as the ones we listed in the table above. Join one of those sportsbooks, and you’ll have plenty of markets to bet on, offers to claim, and banking options to use.
Combine that with our tips above, and you’ll have an enjoyable and likely profitable betting experience online.
You’d be hard-pressed to find anyone who’d complain about that.