The seventh largest country and the second most populous, India has 1.4 billion people. It means that anything trends that take the country by storm happen in a big way. When it comes to online betting, it’s an interesting relationship that helps shine a light on the hobbies and passions of the people.

Let’s explore how the games that Indians like to play might predict their habits for online betting. Plus, we’ll take a closer look at how these two pastimes gripped the people of the world’s largest democracy.

Combining Two Top Pastimes

Sports and games go back thousands of years in India, with early mentions of chess, archery, dice, wrestling, and boxing. It’s not surprising, then, that these leisure activities remain popular with Indians today. It’s a natural way to exercise the body and the mind, encourage discipline and set aside time for something fun.

Another pastime with a significant history is betting, and the two activities are linked. Instead of just participating in sports and games, the idea of being a spectator or an active spectator grew. Today online betting in India is more popular than ever, thanks to access to global markets, sports events all year, and the technology that makes it all happen.

History of Betting

It’s thought that betting in India dates back thousands of years. There’s an ancient text, Ramayana, an epic poem in Sanskrit that was written between 700 BC and 300 AD. It includes references to gambling, including Aksa and Devana, words for gambling boards, which is believed to be a version of chess with wagers.

Gambling with dice is also mentioned in the text, showing that the idea of betting existed in India many centuries ago. The references are neutral, neither condemning nor promoting gambling. Besides dice, it seems that the other most common form of early gambling was on animals, which later led to a love of horse racing. 

Many gambling games we see in casinos today have European roots. However, several interesting facts have been uncovered. The symbols used on dice and cards and in the rules can be traced back to India, showing that the country played a role in their conception.

European influence brought a love of cricket and cricket gambling to India. The game and the practice of betting on it arrived in the 18th century. By the 19th century, cricket had reached cult status, and sports betting was popular everywhere. During that time, the first gambling laws were introduced in India.

Sport Fanatics

As previously mentioned, cricket is the number one sport in India. It attracts players, spectators, and those who want to wager on the outcome. While it draws the most attention at any betting site, it isn’t the only area of interest.

Field hockey has been a popular sport for decades, and the Indian team has won several medals at the Olympics. Other options for spectators and online betting include football, kabaddi, wrestling, boxing, tennis, and badminton.

There isn’t a particular theme that connects all of the sports. However, the history of the game in the country and how it’s played can influence how popular it is. One thing’s for sure if there’s an Indian team, individual or competitor involved, Indian punters will show their interest. 

While hockey was the main sport at the Olympics for many years, seeing a gold medal winner in athletics has changed the perception of track and field events. Neeraj Chopra’s javelin throw brought the country glory and shone a spotlight on a new area of interest.

A New Sports Era

If history is anything to go by, an interest in a sport is usually followed by an increase in popularity in wagers on that activity. With online betting offering so many events, it’s possible for Indian punters to explore international, national, and local leagues.

One recent flutter of activity is down to a newly found love of running. It could be done to the Olympics’ success or simply the accessibility of the sport. It’s distance and road running, particularly, that has seen millions of runners register. With nearly 2,000 organised events occurring up and down the country, participants from all walks of life are discovering the benefits of running.

While the race is run by individuals, there’s a collective aspect to the sport that appeals. It also brings excitement, as runners can take an early lead, overtake, or break away from the pack to aim for the finish line first. All of this indicates that an interest in betting on running could soon follow.

Tied to Tradition but With an Eye to the Future

Games, sports, and betting have been around in India for thousands of years. Although attitudes and favourites might change, the passion for the two pastimes, in general, remains. It started with dice games and wrestling, and cricket has now captured our attention. In the future, new trends will keep us on our toes, with participants, spectators, and punters turning their focus to running.