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What Are the Most Popular Sports to Bet On in India?

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There are few countries in the world that are more diverse than India. This is even more true when it comes to their betting habits than India. In India, many gamblers follow more than one sport. Most of the bettors follow many of the country’s most popular sports. It’s this diverse nature of the country that makes it a hotspot for all sports to excel. What sports are among the most popular when it comes to betting in the country?

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Cricket: The Sport That Captures The Nation

There are many popular Indian sports.  Cricket is not only a pastime, but also a big part of Indian culture. Indians study and watch cricket in the same way as Brazilians do with fútbol. The sport is a way of life in the country, with many Indians watching every game. The most popular matches involve the ‘Men in Blue’ as the Indian national Team is known.

The Indian Premier League (IPL) is one of the largest most popular cricket leagues in the world. Its tournaments draw huge numbers to place cricket bets online.  The popularity of cricket is evident by the number of Indian fans that play and follow the sport. It is the most played sport in the country, with 62% of fans playing the game.

This statistic is more impressive when understanding that 85% of all Indians follow cricket. The IPL is the most popular of the cricketing leagues. Over 70% of Indian fans don’t miss an IPL match for their team. Even more impressive is that 67% of Indians watch the Cricket World Cup. Betting on cricket has been very popular throughout the history of online sportsbooks. Gamblers can bet on the winners but exotic bets are also popular. Top batsman and method of next wicket are among the most bet on. 

eSports: The Fastest Growing Betting Sport In India

One of the fastest-growing sports in the world is eSports. It is a sport that India has quickly picked up. It has grown in popularity over the past ten years. For those that are unaware of eSports, it pits players against one another in a popular video game.

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Games can be individual or team based. The team games often involve intense strategies and coordination amongst teammates. Huge cash prizes are available for some of the most popular tournaments on the calendar.

In India, younger fans have made eSports popular. It reached new heights of popularity during the COVID lockdowns in 2020 and 2021.  It was during this period that more betting selections became available. Gamblers’ options expanded to wager on titles such as FIFA, CS:GO and League of Legends. Much like cricket, exotic bets can be placed. Each game is unique but a few popular exotic bets include number of maps played or number of headshots. India reportedly has 1.5 million players involved in eSports. Additionally, there are an estimated 85 million viewers. Streaming sites such as Twitch are gaining popularity in India as well.

The Fastest Growing Betting Sport In India

Soccer: One of the World’s Biggest Sports

There wouldn’t be a great deal of shock to hear that soccer is one of the most popular sports for betting in India. Soccer is one of the globe’s most popular sports after all. Matches in leagues around Europe draw in huge viewer numbers in India. Many of the leading sportsbooks in the country offer live streams for fans to watch the action after placing a qualifying bet. Betting on soccer is popular around the world. In a survey, 41% of Indians follow soccer throughout the year, while only 22% play the game. Aside from cricket, soccer is the most-watched sport in India. The FIFA World Cup is particularly popular amongst Indians. Almost half of all Indians tune into the World Cup every four years. The English Premier League is the most-watched league in India. About a third of fans of the sport watch throughout the season.

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Field Hockey: A Famous Indian Pastime

For sports fans of a certain age, hockey remains a very prominent sport in India. Many are nostalgic for the Golden Years of Indian Field Hockey. A period when the Indians won eight gold medals at the Olympic games. The domestic game is still incredibly popular in India. Some of the world’s finest players compete in the IPL-style Hockey India League. The formation of this league came in 2013, with top players all able to compete in the competition. Indian fans still regard hockey as one of their main sports. Around 38% of sports fans watched the last Asia Cup when it was staged. Betting on the sport is available with the leading sportsbooks. Like many other sports, bets on outright tournament winners are very popular. However, individual single-match bets and exotic statistical bets are available too. However, fans will be hoping that it isn’t another extended run of years without more success on the hockey field.

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