Sportsradar Experts Shed Light on a Realistic Path to Regulation at SBC Digital IndiaPublished February 10, 2021 by Lee R
A consumer protection panel has India's regulation prospects looking bright.
An intriguing discussion at the two-day SBC Digital India 27-28 February illuminated the priorities for India to establish an iGaming regime and the most effective path forward: through its leading spectator sport of cricket.
According to Sportsradar's William Howie, the priority of any legalised sports betting framework across India has to be protection of the end user.
Source of Expertise
As Sportradar's Head of Premium Cricket, Howie's vital expertise was on display as a speaker in the SBC Digital India's cricket-focused panel he shared with Connecting Brands’ Founder Russell Yershon and Sports Unity Private Limited Co-Founder & Chief Product Officer Seeman Shankar.
With session sponsor Altenar's Commercial Director Domenico Mazzola moderating, Howie addressed the “regulatory elephant in the room” as the lack of safeguards in place for players betting on the grey market. However, the resulting vacuum for more protective measure is one that that the India government is eager to fill:
“Protection of the end user...is something that the government is interested in.”
Appeal of India Market
Howie estimated the India underground sports betting market at multi-billion, with that huge pie often confusing priorities for operators who focus on internal issues including taxes and benefits:
“We must not forget the true purpose of regulation which is to protect the man on the ground who is actually interacting with the market. At the minute, that isn’t happening at all.”
Solution for Operator Focus
So how to get operators focused on compliance and cooperating with potential government regulators? Yershon's solution, cricket
The Cricket Factor
Yershon believes that the popularity of cricket can yield the high betting turnover to support and facilitate regulation and its social benefits in India:
“I’m sure for the government in India, sports betting legislation can progress, there’s going to be significant earnings that they can make once everything is regulated because the turnover is going to be so high. The taxes that the government is going to have from regulating the market is going to be huge.”
With expert Shankar chiming in his belief that gaming will be a primary focus for legislators in 2021, this insightful SBC panel has rendered regulatory approval of iGaming realistic for 2021.