The Indian government banned TikTok in June earlier this year in a sudden move that left many perplexed and surprised. Along with TikTok, many other Chinese apps were banned as India and China were right in the middle of a heated border dispute.
India was the second-largest market for the app and two months into the ban, there’s still no hope for the app making it back to the app markets. Additionally, countries like the United States have also made moves that could lead to the ban of the app in their country.
The context for India’s ban
Surprisingly, this wasn’t the first time TikTok was banned in India. The app was banned in India in 2019 too but that ban was reversed within two weeks.
While there were many reasons cited for the ban such as security vulnerabilities and privacy issues, the main reason for the ban is thought of as a direct response to the border dispute that had been shifted into high gear after a recent violent face-off between the soldiers of the two countries that resulted in the death of 20 Indian soldiers and an unknown number of Chinese soldiers.
The fact that many other Chinese apps were banned along with Tik Tok leads more cadence to the idea that the ban is influenced by geopolitics rather than actual security and privacy violations by the app itself.
Can online casinos be banned after TikTok?
Whatever the motivations behind the TikTok ban might be, it proved how quickly the Indian government can shut down apps if it wants to. This news can be a bit scary to other apps that could face a similar situation in the future.
One of the major industries that might be a bit spooked by the news is the online gambling industry. While the established Indian casino sites and apps ensure they comply with all laws, the current legal landscape is a bit murky which contributes to the current atmosphere of uncertainty and fear.
However, it is equally likely that the government is willing to look away as all winnings from online casinos are taxed at a hefty 30% without any exemptions. Since gambling is already legal in states like Goa and Sikkim, there is also a chance that other states might actually follow suit and create regulated online gambling legislation in the future.
Setting a dangerous precedent
Regardless if you think the ban was justified or not, it sets a dangerous precedent as the government proved it can ban any app extremely quickly if there were significant reasons to do so.
As for online casinos, the current situation is a largely unregulated market which is uncertain but it has been that for a while. The most likely scenario is that the same situation would continue for at least the near future.