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How to start sports betting business in India?

Tuesday, 24 August 2021

Online betting is booming in India. A report suggests that 4 out of 10 internet users in the South Asian country are gamblers. And the market is predicted to grow in the coming years. Therefore, there’s much business potential in setting up an online sportsbook in India.

Read on to learn all the essentials to launch online sports betting business in India, step by step!

1. Check sports betting legal status

The legal status of sports betting in India might initially seem confusing. However, the Indian gambling industry’s value, $90 billion, best shows how prevalent wagering is. Therefore, whereas gambling is a favorite pastime for millions of Indians, there’re some vital legal aspects to consider when offering the Indian population online gambling services.

According to the Indian constitution, states have the right to make local laws concerning the legal status of betting and gambling. Interestingly, 27 of the 29 states prohibit running a gambling house, with Goa and Sikkim the only exceptions. While most states regulate land-based gambling via their own legislations, several states have passed The Public Gambling Act, 1867, which bans operating a casino.

However, most of these legislations were enacted before the introduction of online gambling in India, and therefore the regulations mainly concern gambling activities in physical locations. While gambling is largely illegal across India, there are no laws that prohibit placing a bet online. So can you start an online sports betting business in India?

The Information Technology Act 2000 prohibits the use of online technologies to corrupt people. Though, you can bypass it via offshore betting sites because the law concerns web pages registered only in India. Many top online sportsbooks noticed this loophole, legally providing the Indian population with betting services from offshore. Similarly, if an Indian resident bet on a virtual sportsbook registered in a country where betting is legal, they won’t face a criminal charge.

2. Develop a business strategy

Having a proper business plan is essential to succeed in the iGaming industry. Via the business strategy of your company, you provide your staff with a clear vision and direction. Each member of your team must have clear aims and follow the mission of the company. The strategy of your company can help your team direct their activities toward reaching business objectives and goals. In your business plan, make sure to answer the following questions:

How will your online sportsbook remain competitive?

With more and more betting websites entering the Indian market, it’s crucial to remain competitive. One way to do that is by offering gamblers customer loyalty programs. Promoting online registration on your website by giving players welcome bonuses and free bets will surely boost engagement on your platform and attract new players.

Alternatively, you may tailor your site to a particular niche (which sports games you’ll offer). Most bettors wager on cricket when it comes to India— therefore, covering all the top cricket leagues can significantly improve your competitiveness.

What is your total budget?

A business budget gives you a clear picture of costs and revenues. You can use it for key business decisions, such as whether you can afford to hire new employees and boost operational efficiency. In terms of your total budget, factors such as your competitive positioning, gambling license, website, and application development can significantly affect your financial plan. Thus, while the costs of launching an online bookie may vary, most entrepreneurs would need at least $200,000 to set up and operate their sportsbooks for a year.


3. Obtain a gambling license

Prior to starting your sportsbook, you should make sure that you’ve obtained all the necessary licenses. Each gambling license comes with a unique set of rules and regulations, and picking the optimal solution will give you many benefits in the long term. Check out some top gambling licenses below!

UK gambling license

The Gambling Commission in the UK boasts one of the leading jurisdictions. The license is well-respected by gamblers across the world. You need to obtain a couple of licenses: the operating license and the personal management license. Further license laws are presented in great detail on the Gambling Commission’s website.

It typically takes 16 weeks for applications to proceed. Please note that the license’s only downside for entrepreneurs is its high tax rate— 15% of your income.

Malta gaming license

Another popular choice is the Malta license, viewed worldwide as transparent, trustworthy, reliable, and complying with EU regulations. While getting one is pretty hard, it’s certainly worth the effort. You’ll need to get a Gaming Service license to provide the Indian population with betting services.

The processing time for applications may extend up to 6 months. Concerning the annual license fee, you’ll need to pay a fixed €25,000.

Curacao gaming license

A popular choice among startups and online casinos, the Caribbean license comes with pros and cons. The Curacao license is a top choice for novice betting provider companies due to the ease of obtaining it and the low fees. Via it, you can see your concept in practice, get a solid client base while saving on taxes and fees. However, fellow players sometimes advise gamblers to avoid this license as Curacao usually doesn’t interfere with disputes between online casinos and their customers. So its reputation is of some concern.

You can expect to receive your application decision within 20 days. Furthermore, you’ll only need to pay 2% of your net profit-the primary benefit of choosing this license.

4. Pick your iGaming software provider

Choosing a proper betting software provider is vital to be successful in the iGaming industry. With more and more companies offering gambling software solutions, identifying what makes a company better than others can often be challenging. Therefore, we’ve summed up the essential features to look for in betting software providers.

iGaming platform

Choosing the optimal software for your iGaming brand is essential for providing your customers an enjoyable gambling experience while promoting your business. Today, there’re 3 solutions for the online betting industry— White Label, Turnkey, and API Integration.

White Label

White Label offers you an all-inclusive solution: from sports betting software to license and payment options; with this approach, you get all the essentials from a third-party provider.

Moreover, White Label may also include customer support and fraud prevention. Thus, you’ll only need to work on the marketing plan of your bookie.

However, this solution comes with a few downsides as you get limited opportunities concerning standardization. You can’t choose a layout or differentiate in terms of the trading plan, etc.


Are you looking for more control over your software? With the Turnkey solution, you can customize features such as branding, design, and payments. Besides, getting Turnkey software from a trusty provider such as Digtain, yet to enter the Indian market, you can choose whether to outsource operation services or perform via your own technology team.

Turnkey gives you all the pros of the White Label solution and even more— but you’ll need to obtain a gambling license independently.

API Integration

With API (Application Programming Interface), you get a flexible and impeccable means to connect with your software provider. A key benefit of using API is its ease of integration as you can join various technologies to exchange information. Furthermore, through API, you can save money and improve your time management as they can be developed with speed via automation.

Mobile capability

Mobile gaming is increasingly reaching popularity across India, with over 80% of the online gaming market share. Besides, having a mobile application will let you connect with your customers directly. In addition, you’ll want to ensure that the mobile version has all the essentials of your website to give gamblers a quality experience. Generally speaking, native mobile technologies are a straightforward, fast, and secure option to bet online.

Today, mobile bettors can sign up, deposit, bet on various games and do anything else that websites offer. Moreover, getting a mobile application from a leading sports software provider will give you a native view, a user-friendly interface, and an excellent performing solution.

Digitain’s mobile applications support iOS and Android. And gamblers can access them via both mobile phones and tablets: meaning online sportsbooks can target a wide variety of customer segments.

Payment options

From providing your customers with a smooth playing experience to promoting your business, there’re various reasons why you should adopt both new and traditional payment solutions. While most gambling websites will let bettors wager using Visa and Mastercard, ensuring that your customers have Bitcoin payment services will give them a convenient solution.

Thus, some of the payment solutions you should have include:

  • Card payments
  • Digital wallets
  • Bank account transfer
  • Cryptocurrency payments


Besides providing their partner companies excellent software solutions that make betting on sports games enjoyable, top development teams boast excellent B2B support. When you operate your betting website, you’ll go through many issues where you need instant assistance. Having a reliable provider by your side that offers 24/7 BSB support is essential so you can get in touch for an immediate solution to your platform’s problems.

Via Digitain, sportsbooks and online casinos get live professional assistance in a language they speak— any time of the day.

5. Build an effective marketing strategy

Marketing strategies often hold the key to success in a market environment such as sports betting, where product differentiation is minimal. With the number of online bookmakers is constantly increasing, proper advertising can help you attract customers even if your platform isn’t awe-inspiring. Generally speaking, there’re two primary strategies concerning promoting a gambling business— skill-enhancing and risk-lowering.

With skill-enhancing, you should make your customers feel in control by making their betting experience more interactive. Here the keywords are ‘feel’ and ‘control.’ The ‘feel’ part refers to a perceived imaginary excitement: central to the advertising campaign. Further, giving gamblers decision-making opportunities can help you engage them better on your platform. Next, the ‘control’ component focuses on bettors’ skills, presenting wagering outcomes as a mirror of their efforts. The quintessence of control over a bet is fantasy sports, where gamblers actively pick a squad. In brief, with the skill-enhancing method, you promote gambling as a sport that can be mastered with time and practice.

Moreover, betting websites could adopt appropriate strategies to attract new customers, considering gambling is often viewed as morally bad. The risk-lowering plan presents gambling as a risk-free activity by concentrating more on the joyful experience gamblers will get wagering online. At the heart of this strategy, gambling is represented as an enjoyable activity where smart betting results in big winnings. Some sportsbooks use slogans such as ‘Play for fun‘ to associate betting on their platforms with positive experiences. Others invest in commercials to promote gambling as entertainment for everyone. Take, for example, the Betclic Group commercial, where they represent betting as a commitment rather than a pursuit of monetary gain. While the two friends compete with each other, the ad gives us fun vibes.

What’s more? To lower the risks associated with betting, top betting providers promote 3 key messages:

  1. betting is a perfectly normal activity
  2. mistakes in betting predictions are not disastrous
  3. betting is a social activity

Affiliate marketing

Affiliate marketing is an incredible tool you can use to effectively promote your betting services on the cheap, with minimal effort and time. In 2022, affiliate marketing spend is predicted to reach $8.2 billion, according to Statista. You can use affiliate marketing to hire third-party publishers to direct customers toward your sportsbook. Today using social media for affiliate marketing is a common and powerful way to generate leads to a company’s services and products.

Generally, there’re two options for social media affiliate marketing: through a tipster or a betting community. Tipsters usually have some recognition as an individual offering sports betting tips and match predictions. Furthermore, concerning betting communities, they offer the same services through a brand. In both cases, outbound links are widely used to promote a particular website.

Alternatively, you can choose affiliate marketing websites to drive leads to your website.


Launching an online gambling website can be challenging as there’re many factors to consider. Creating a clear plan and using the latest technologies in the sports betting sector will lay the foundation for the success of your bookie.

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