PayTM First Games (PFG) will also be the official online betting and live streaming partner for Royal Western India Turf Club (RWITC) which conducts horse racing in Mumbai and Pune. Live streaming permissions were granted for the initial races of the season in Pune in Nov 2020 to PFG. The Classics at RWITC started in Jan 2021 and the whole partnership has gone live with users now given the option of watching the live stream of the races and betting on the races as well.
The racing events were restarted on 27th Nov 2020 after a gap of 8 months due to the pandemic. And with these races being live streamed on PayTM First Games, followers of horse racing across the country can now watch and all Maharashtra residents will get the added option of betting on the races as well. Location of the user will be a prerequisite for users to be able to bet online and thus will limit the betting allowed to those living in Maharashtra.
After Bangalore Turf Club (retracted in Dec 2020) and Royal Calcutta Turf Club got approvals from their respective state Govts, RWITC has got the nod from the Maharashtra Govt for allowing bets online.
Apart from RWITC, Hyderabad Race Club has also joined hands with PayTM First Games where live streaming rights have been granted to the platform as well as opening online betting to residents of Telangana. The livestreaming passes are made available to users on a daily, weekly and yearly basis.
PayTM First Games currently provides two types of betting systems for both RWITC and HRC.
Tote – Money bet is pooled and awarded to the winner after relevant deductions
Fixed Odds – Placing bets at fixed odds or dividends. Winner will win the odds against his bet.
There are also two types of pools available.
Single Leg Pool – Pool for a single race
Multi-Leg Pool – Pool for more than 1 race
Zavaray Poonawalla, the Chairman of RWITC who is also the Chief of Turf Authorities of India has mentioned that online betting will be the lifeline of horse racing in India and a much needed step towards making betting on horse racing mainstream and not limited to only those who can visit the races.
Horse Racing is considered a game of skill in India with the 1996 judgement from Dr K R Lakshamanan v State of Tamil Nadu case declaring horse racing a game of skill determined by factors like pedigree and training of the animal and thus legal.
With the shrinking tax base of the Central Govt and the State Govt’s across India, the relevant authorities have been working at breakneck speeds to regularise industries which have seen growth and turn them into tax revenue generators. Govt regulation and policy and many times, the absence of the same are usually the major hurdle for emerging business models and industries and for them, these guidelines and regulations help.
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