July 14, 2010

New Bollywood-themed bingo site shows Indians still gambling online

epresentatives of the JackpotJoy bingo network recently introduced the site BollyBingo.com, an extravagant attempt to appeal to citizens of India both living in the U.K. and on The Subcontinent. After years of scandal and government attempts to control Internet gambling in India, the market just keeps growing.

BollyBingo seeks to target Indians through the film genre, posting trailers and soundtrack clips from the latest Bombay productions – already reportedly to great success with Indian customers living all over the world now playing on the site.

Even after wide-ranging scandals in the national cricket league which were related to illegal gambling rings in the late 1990s/early 2000s, gambling law in India hasn’t budged an inch since the independent formation of the country in 1948.

Controversy even erupted again recently when claims of illegal betting arose during the IPL Twenty20 tournament in April, resulting in the suspension of the league’s president. At that time, the Times of India ran a poll which showed that 74% of respondents favoured online gambling becoming a regulated industry.

Currently, in the whole of India only two states allowed land-based gaming and, under India’s vague laws, online gambling is thought to be against the law but no penalties are provided and no legal moves have ever been made by state authorities against private parties for gambling online.

India’s online gambling market is estimated to be worth over $1 billion per year, all of which goes to foreign-owned website operators. (s)

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