The Indian government recently announced its plan to ban cryptocurrencies in the country. This would mean that all private cryptocurrencies would be illegal. There is also a plan for a central bank digital currency (CBDC) to be introduced.
This is big news for online casino operators as they are appearing more often than ever, especially in India, that is confirmed on the source there. These casinos are based offshore but are tailoring their services to Indian players and many of them are brands that have adopted, or are thinking of adopting, cryptocurrencies like Bitcoin as a payment method. Any ban would mean that Indian players would not be able to use cryptocurrencies for any transactions.
Will the ban on cryptocurrencies in India happen?
Given that “The Cryptocurrency and Regulation of Official Digital Currency Bill, 2021” has already been listed, during the Winter Session of Parliament, there is no doubt that the Indian government is serious about its intentions.
The bill follows in the path of a crackdown on cryptocurrencies in China where all transactions involving digital currencies are now illegal.
In India, there appears to be some room for the underlying technology of cryptocurrency to be developed. This means the government can control the threat to financial stability it alleges cryptocurrencies create while still benefiting from the attributes and uses of the technology that has been used to create and control cryptocurrencies.
The ban, if and when it comes to pass, will prohibit cryptocurrency-related activities such as mining, generating, or selling. This means that no cryptocurrency-related transactions will be permitted. According to unidentified sources, anyone flouting the rules will be liable to arrest without a warrant and will not have bail available to them.
Unsurprisingly, the move to ban cryptocurrencies in India led to a slump in bitcoin prices when it was announced. The damage has not been as pronounced as the effect of China’s ban but has still made a significant dent in cryptocurrencies advancement as a recognised global currency solution.
It has also caused unrest for Indian crypto investors. There are no official figures concerning how many of these investors exist, but it’s thought the number is around 15-20 million. Between them, these investors are thought to have holdings of around 450 billion Indian rupees ($6 billion). Given these high numbers, it’s clear why there is a lot of disquiet in the country about the potential ban.
Online casinos are used to navigate a complex legal landscape in India. Betting and casinos are illegal in most states. However, online offshore casinos are not specifically illegal and can offer services to Indian players.
Given the potential restrictions around the use of cryptocurrencies in the country, these casinos will have to rethink their services to players in India if they offer cryptocurrencies such as bitcoin as a deposit option.
Overall, this should not be a significant problem given that each casino offers several deposit options that are tailored to the Indian market.