There is no doubting the popularity of gambling in India; however, its legal status requires a bit more investigation. With sports betting, particularly in cricket, and casino games continue to grow as forms of entertainment in the country, it is important to understand the legal implications of these pastimes.
We have all the information you need to understand what constitutes gambling, what is an online casino, and whether you can find a legal online casino. In this article, we’ll talk you through the legal status of online casinos, and what this includes. We will also look at gambling laws in India, how they have changed, and what we can expect in the future. Most importantly, we’ll look at what the laws mean and how they can affect you.
With advances in technology, many forms of entertainment developed in a new way, and the introduction of the internet particularly shaped this. The casino environment capitalized on this great new technology, and operators formed online casinos. The industry has grown rapidly, and legislation hasn’t always been able to keep up the pace.
In fact, the majority of legislation relating to gambling predates or stems from the same time that websites were just starting to take off. Since the idea of online casinos and online gambling couldn’t even be conceived of, it means the law is open to interpretation on these matters.
Laws about Online Gambling in India
In India, there are laws that pertain to gambling and there are laws related to online activities. Here is some more detail about each:
Gambling Laws in India
There is a central law, the Public Gambling Act of 1867, that prohibits games of chance. Lotteries and games of skill are not included in this law. The Constitution of India enables states to make their own laws regarding betting within the state.
Although the law is over 100 years old, it still stands today, but some amendments have been made. The contradicting terminology used in this act when compared to the Constitution of India makes it hard to determine the illegality of some forms of gambling, including online gambling.
The act states that it does not apply to certain games, and then goes on to specify that it will not be applied to games of skill. However, the constitution defines gambling as any activity where there is a chance of winning or losing.
Three states have legalized casinos, and already have land-based and floating casinos. They are Goa, Daman, and Sikkim.
Technology Laws in India
Lawmakers created the Information Technology Act of 2000 to regulate cyber activities. The words gambling and betting are not included in the act, so it cannot be used as legislation regarding online casinos and gambling.
What Is an Online Casino?
Online casinos provide opportunities for players to enjoy gambling as a form of entertainment over the internet. They are platforms that include a range of games that can be played for fun, and you can place bets with the potential of taking away real money if you win.
Online casinos are run from websites. Each operator works with gaming software developers to provide their content, which can be played from the site or downloaded. You’ll need to sign up for an account in order to deposit money and play.
Online casinos provide a selection of games, so there is something for everyone to enjoy. You’ll see table games, like blackjack, roulette, poker, and baccarat. There are also slot games, which are often themed, where you’ll need to match symbols to win.
Licenses are required to run an online casino, which enables regulatory bodies to oversee their practices.
How Indian Online Gambling Laws Affect You?
As you can understand from the definitions above, the legal status of online gambling is unclear. One state, Maharashtra, has specifically made online gambling illegal, but no such laws exist in other states. It is important to note that there is no history of any Indian being prosecuted for using an online casino or gambling site.
The options open to players in India are online casinos from overseas. Since the online casino is based in another country, the laws of India cannot be applied there. We recommend that you use trustworthy sites. You can tell they are reputable if they provide information about their license and regulation.
There are laws regarding the exchange of foreign currencies, which means we advise you to be careful with how you make deposits at online gambling sites overseas. Many online casinos accept players from India and allow you to deposit using Rupees.
This is recommended as the safest way to gamble online, although some customers choose to use alternative payment methods that do not directly involve their credit card or bank account.
Changes to the Indian Online Gambling Legislation
In the coming years, we can expect the gambling legislation in India to change. You might see states reconsidering their laws, making amendments, or providing clearer terminology to determine what is legal and what is not.
Most recently, we have seen the state of Sikkim change its laws regarding online gambling, so that it is now legal in the state. They have already issued their first license to an online operator. If this industry proves successful within the state, we could see other states considering the matter more carefully.