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Offshore vs local licenses: Which permit fits India online gambling industry best?

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Source: Ajay Bhatiwal/ ABC World Media

With the online gambling industry continuously sustaining stable growth even amid the coronavirus pandemic, it’s time for India government officials to take a full step back and ask themselves—which regulatory regime suit operators of roulette casino online in the country best.

‘Rock bottom’ India must find its gambling regulation stronghold

Players and operators in India are still wading their way through the murky landscape of outdated laws set out by the government. To keep up with the changing times, Indian casinos need to take a page out of the established gambling jurisdictions’ playbook.

A recent ENV Media research takes a deep dive into the offshore gambling licenses and regulated markets around the world. For India, the mobile-first market believed to be on the cusp of making a name for itself in the online gambling space, the challenge is how it can haul itself out of the “rock bottom” it currently wallows in—no thanks to the state regulators who have yet to make up their mind if they want to regulate or ban the gaming industry.

As the research analysts at ENV Media points out, “India, however, is rock bottom in this ranking, where only a couple of States have provided some form of credible regulation for online betting and gambling. In a nation where the fundamental distinction between legal and illegal is mostly based on the presence of skill or chance, even traditional games are not clearly regulated as one or the other (if the industry is to be guided by conflicting State legislation or repetitive litigation practices).”

Javon Swaby

Offshore vs regulated gambling license: What is the difference?

The current legal landscape of India’s online gambling industry is murky and to clear away any uncertainties industry stakeholders may have, what the government needs is not to totally ban the activity but develop an updated legislation that will address all gaming segments—whether they’re online or offline—uniformly across the country.

But which type of gambling license best fits the India market? Jurisdictions including Malta, Curacao, Alderney, Isle of Man, Panama, Antigua and Barbuda, Kahnawake, and Gibraltar offer offshore licenses that allow operators and suppliers to deliver their gambling products to anywhere in the world where local laws do not express forbid players to access the gaming platforms.

Offshore gambling licenses are considered to be more reputable in the industry, given that their gambling authorities have strict licensing procedures.

On the other side of the table are locally regulated permits, which are issued by national governments that have already enacted national regulation of online gambling within their borders.  Jurisdictions that issue local gambling permits include the United Kingdom, Sweden, Denmark, Italy, Ireland, Germany, Spain, France, and the United States.

One of the distinctions of regulated gambling licenses is that its licensed operators must abide by all relevant local rules and pay the local taxes, even if they’re not incorporated in the jurisdiction. This makes it the main alternative to international offshore licenses, which are valid and open to markets anywhere in the world—unless the local regulators forbid them to access the services.

Both types of licenses put emphasis on consumer protection, with details tailored to territorial and cultural specifics.

India, which is still considered an emerging market, stands to benefit the most by employing locally regulated permits as these will ensure that the government has more control of the regulation and law enforcement, while also safeguarding the consumers’ well-being. But before we get to the licenses, India needs to revamp its outdated laws and develop a regulatory framework that addresses the ever-changing online gambling landscape.

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