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A Hidden Economic Force: Impact of Betting on Cricket

How does betting on cricket in India affect the economy regarding revenue, employment, taxation, and social welfare? This is the main research question that this article aims to answer.

Ankit Kanaujia
Last updated: 20.02.2024
Impact of Betting on Cricket

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Millions of Indians follow cricket fervently, cheering for their favourite teams and players, celebrating their victories and mourning their losses. Cricket is also a lucrative business in India, generating billions of dollars in revenue for the cricket industry and its stakeholders, such as broadcasters, sponsors, merchandisers, and ticket sellers. 


But there is another aspect of cricket that is often hidden from the public eye yet equally influential and profitable: betting on cricket. How does betting on cricket in India affect the economy regarding revenue, employment, taxation, and social welfare? This is the main research question that this article aims to answer.


Revenue Streams and Economic Benefits

The economic impact of betting on cricket is profound, with its tentacles spreading across various sectors, creating a web of revenue streams that fuel local and global economies. At the heart of this economic boom are online betting platforms, which have revolutionised how fans engage with the sport.


According to some estimates, India's sports betting market is projected to exhibit a growth rate (CAGR) of 10.11\% during 2023-2028. By 2027, it is projected that there will be around 12.17 million users in India’s online betting market, with an average revenue per user of $291.83. Cricket betting dominates the online betting market in India, accounting for 80\% to 90\% of the sports betting revenues.


The online betting platforms generate revenue by offering a variety of betting markets and odds on cricket matches, tournaments, and events, such as the Indian Premier League (IPL), the Cricket World Cup, and the Ashes. They also generate revenue by offering other services like cash-out options, live betting and streaming.


The revenue from betting on cricket benefits the industry and its stakeholders in various ways. For instance, the revenue from legal online betting platforms helps support the broadcasting rights, sponsorships, merchandise sales, and ticket sales of cricket events, boosting the income and exposure of the cricket boards, teams, players, and officials.


Employment Opportunities

The employment opportunities created by betting on cricket contribute to India's economic growth and development in various ways. For instance, the employment opportunities from online betting platforms and networks help to create a skilled and educated workforce, enhance the digital infrastructure and innovation, and increase the income and consumption levels of the employees and their families. 


The online betting sites employ people for various roles, such as software developers, customer service agents, marketing managers, and content writers. The bookmakers employ people to take and place bets, manage accounts, and settle disputes. 


The analysts and commentators provide insights, tips, and predictions on cricket matches, tournaments, and events. The latest news and developments in the cricket and betting industry are covered and reported by journalists. 


The security personnel employ people to ensure the safety and integrity of the betting operations and transactions. Hardware, software, internet, electricity, and food are goods and services the vendors supply and deliver to the betting platforms and networks.


Taxation

Direct taxation refers to the taxes levied on the income and profits generated by the betting platforms and networks that operate in India, such as income tax, corporate tax, and gambling tax. 


According to the current tax laws in India, legal online betting platforms are subject to income tax and corporate tax. In contrast, the illegal offline betting networks are subject to gambling tax. 


The taxation imposed on betting on cricket affects the public expenditure and fiscal deficit of India in various ways. For instance, the taxation from legal online betting platforms helps to increase the tax revenue and reduce the government's fiscal deficit, enabling the government to spend more on public goods and services, such as education, health, and infrastructure. 


However, gambling tax collection is often hampered by the lack of transparency and accountability in the illegal offline betting networks and the bookmakers' and punters' tax evasion and avoidance.


The taxation from the illegal offline betting networks does not contribute to the tax revenue. It increases the government's fiscal deficit, constraining its ability to spend on public goods and services.


Social Welfare of the Indian Population

Social welfare refers to people's well-being and quality of life, especially vulnerable groups such as the poor, the youth, and the women.


Social Interaction and Community Building

One of the less highlighted yet significant benefits of cricket betting is how it fosters social interaction and community spirit. Bettors often find themselves in lively discussions, debates, and exchanges with fellow enthusiasts, creating a sense of camaraderie and social bonding. This shared passion for cricket and betting can lead to lasting friendships and a strong community among individuals with similar interests.


Enhancing Cognitive Abilities

Moreover, cricket betting isn't a game of chance alone; it requires a deep understanding of the game, strategic thinking, and analytical skills. Bettors often conduct thorough research, probability assessments, and strategic planning to make informed decisions. This process can sharpen cognitive functions, improve decision-making skills, and even boost one's ability to assess risks and rewards effectively.


Economic Benefits for Bettors

On the economic front, the benefits of cricket betting can be quite tangible. For many, it's a way to supplement their income, leading to increased consumption and savings. While it's important to bet responsibly, successful bettors can indeed experience a noticeable uplift in their financial status, contributing to their overall economic well-being.

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