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Is Online Gambling Legal in India?

October 13, 2020

Written By,

Brijesh Mehta

Online Gambling in India

Nowadays, with the advancement of technology, many activities that we do in real life have their online counterparts. Gambling is one of such activities. Online gambling has gained massive popularity due to its ease of access and numerous available options.

India has the second-largest online market in the world, and many online gambling sites from around the world focus on Indian players. Online gambling is in a growing phase in India and it is growing at a rate of 20% every year. It can be expected that the online gambling market could exceed 1 billion dollars by 2021. Cricket betting is also highly popular in India due to the popularity of the sport in the country. A large number of Indian cricket lovers involve in IPL betting online.

If you are a gambling enthusiast from India and new to the world of online gambling, you might be wondering whether online gambling is legal in India or not. By reading this blog, you will be clear about the legal status of online gambling in India.

Legality of gambling sites in India

India considers gambling as a state subject, and states in India are allowed to make gambling laws within their states. So, some states have made gambling more restricted while others have less strict laws against gambling.

In India, the central piece of legislation related to gambling is the Public Gambling Act, 1867. According to this act, it is illegal to operate and be in charge of a public gambling venue. Also, visiting public gambling houses was prohibited in the act.

There is no clear definition of gambling mentioned in the act. This makes it confusing whether the betting on sports like cricket is illegal like betting on a roulette table or not. It could be argued that betting on sports is based on skill, but a roulette table is a game of pure luck.

However, the Constitution of India has defined gambling as an activity where people risk money to win money. According to this definition, sports betting and casino games are in the same bracket.. But other legislation in India contradicts this thing to some extent.

According to the Indian laws, the games based on skill are not illegal . But the games based on pure luck are considered illegitimate. 

The Supreme Court of India decided that horse race betting should be legal as it is based on skill. This raises the question – Why are other sports betting not legal then as they are also based on skill? It requires skill to determine the outcome of IPL cricket matches, doesn’t it? So, the laws regarding gambling in India are not clear and the government has to come up with explicit laws for gambling.

Legality of online gambling in India

The Public Gambling Act was formulated in 1867 when the internet wasn’t invented, and so it doesn’t make any reference to online gambling.

Also, there is another act ‘Information Technology Act of 2000’ which could be considered as an act that relates to online activity. Again, this act hasn’t specifically mentioned online gambling as an illegal online activity.

There are two states in India – Maharashtra, and Sikkim which have introduced specific legislation to online gambling at the state level. The legislation in Maharashtra prohibits online gambling within the state.

In contrast, the legislation in Sikkim considers regulated gambling by issuing licenses to online gambling operators that want to offer the services of online gambling within the state. In October of 2014, the government of Sikkim  issued its first license to Future Gaming Solutions Pvt. Ltd. to provide online betting and gaming services on real money within the state.

How Best online gambling App is working in India

So, we have come to know that the legal status of online gambling in India is unclear in this current time. Many Indian players gamble or play betting games via numerous online betting sites that operate overseas, and such sites are not illegal as they are not governed by Indian law. However, such betting sites or companies need to offer Indian Rupees as a payment method for Indian bettors.

If you are an Indian gambling enthusiast, you have to choose legitimate casino sites or betting sites for safe and sensible gambling. If you are betting on IPL matches, you have to make sure you use a trusted and licensed online IPL betting app.

Except in Maharashtra, there are no laws that clearly state that it is illegal for Indians to play online gambling. if you are playing responsibly on a trusted and licensed online betting sites, there is nothing to worry about. We do not know about any Indian player being charged or prosecuted for just using a betting site for online gambling.

One of the problems faced by Indian punters is depositing into the foreign sportsbooks. Their attempts to deposit from the bank or by using their credit cards might fail. So, most of the Indian punters use e-wallets such as Skrill or Neteller.

Conclusion

In conclusion, we are not in a clear state to say that online gambling is legal or illegal in India since India has no laws specific to online gambling or online betting. But it is still possible for you to bet online via licensed online betting sites that provide online gambling services to Indian bettors or punters.

Remember that there are no laws against online gambling in India. However, we suggest you avoid blacklisted online casinos or betting sites and follow safe and sensible gambling at all costs.

Written By,

Brijesh Mehta

Brijesh Mehta is a content writer & strategist from India providing his top-notch skills & expertise in the Sports and online casino industry for more than seven years. He is an avid reader and creative writer who is fond of words and uses them to teach others about online betting and trending sports news through his in-depth guides.