Are Online Casinos Legal in India? (2023)

With the rise of online gambling, many people are wondering if online casinos are legal in India. The answer is not straightforward, as Indian laws on gambling can be complex and vary from state to state.

However, there are legal online casinos in India that you can enjoy safely and securely. If you’re interested in trying your luck at an online casino, we’ve compiled a list of the best legal Indian online casinos for you to explore.

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Vladimir Kovačević
Vladimir Kovačević

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List of the Best Legal Casino Sites in India

Are Online Casinos Legal in India?

Indian laws don’t mention online gambling at all. Laws that are written before online casinos were available don’t allow gambling in India. However, they do exclude lottery and sports betting from these rules. Indian players are permitted to use foreign-based casinos when playing online, and many do. This is made easier by the fact that laws regarding receiving funds from abroad are rather liberal.

Here, we will present a brief outline of the laws regulating online casinos in India.

Brief History of Online Gambling in India

According to the Public Gambling Act of 1867, gambling isn’t allowed in India. It’s a crime to use a gambling establishment or to try to run one. A penalty of three months or a fine of 200 rupees is set for those that try to gamble and get caught. This law is still the act that governs gambling in India.

The Information Technology Act of 2000 governs the issues related to the internet, and it doesn’t mention online gambling. It’s through this loophole that online gambling became available in India. After a while, some states legalised online gambling, and local online casinos appeared soon. At this point, four Indian states allow gambling in both land-based and online casinos.

Newest Updates on the Online Casino Legality in India

Since online gambling technology has significantly advanced in recent years and Indian players are interested in playing legally, many Indian states have allowed online gambling. The most recent states to do so were: Goa, Sikkim, Nagaland and Meghalaya. There are rumours that others will follow soon, since taxing gambling winning has proven to be lucrative for these states.

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Online Gambling Laws in India

Indian gambling laws differ from state to state. There are also differences based on the nature of the game itself. The law makes a difference between games that are based on luck and those that are based on skill. In general, games based on chance are more widely restricted than those that require a skilled player.

In the following paragraphs, we will explain the difference between star laws and the difference in how games of luck are treated compared to games of skill. This is a distinction most states make.

Do All States Have the Same Gambling Laws in India?

The gambling laws aren’t the same throughout India. The constitution allows the states to regulate gambling on their own.

Four states have legalised almost every kind of gambling, and 13 states allow lottery but not games of skill.

Only one of those four states has local online gambling ventures – others still use the services of casinos based abroad.

Game of Pure Chance

The games that are based on luck alone are much more restricted than the games that require a skill. This is a matter of some debate, but in most cases, the laws see sports betting as a skill you can gain by learning about the game and the teams involved. A lottery is also not seen as a game based on luck alone.

Game of Skill

Laws mostly allow for games that are based on skill. This covers a lot of popular casino games. All card and table games are based on skill since players can use the hand they were dealt and make the most out of it. The players can improve their standing with practice and experience, even though in the long run – the odds are always in favour of the casino.

Game of Chance and Skill

In most games, there’s a mixture of skill and chance since the player can’t control the hand they get, but they can use the rules of the game to make the most out of it. The laws in different states, therefore, vary significantly regarding whether these games are legal. There’s also a skill in knowing when to quit and not chasing your losses.

Online Lottery

Online lotteries are allowed in most states even though they are focused on skill. Lotteries are also often founded and run by governmental institutions and used to fund public projects. That’s been the case much before online casinos were a thing. It’s also allowed to take part in online lotteries based abroad.

International Legal Gambling Sites for Indians

There are a few legal gambling site options for Indian players, given the laws we’ve mentioned. These are based on the fact that the casinos are located abroad. In some cases, the casinos are located in Indian states that allow gambling. Foreign casinos are easy to use and they often allow for payments and withdrawals in rupees.

Sports Betting

Sports betting is especially popular in India and legal as well in many states, but in some, it is also undefined. The reason wy some states legalised sports betting is because it’s considered a game of skill in which the player can improve by learning about the teams and the statistics involved. British sports betting sites are especially popular. Indian players mostly bet on cricket, football, field hockey, and basketball.

International Gambling Sites

International gambling sites not based in India are allowed to provide their services. This is how most Indian players tend to gamble. Betway Casino, a gambling site from Malta, is especially popular among Indian players since it has all the games Indian players are using and allows for payments in Rupees.

Which Indian States Are Legal for Online Gambling?

There’s no federal gambling law in India. Some states allow gambling, and others don’t.

Some states don’t mention gambling in their laws, and it exists in a grey area. The states also have legislation defining games of luck and games of skills.

Chances are that more states will legalise gambling soon since there’s an interest in it and it’s proven to be lucrative.

Here, we will go through the list of online gambling regulations for each Indian state individually and help you choose the states and the casinos with the best practice.

Indian State Status
Goa Legal
Sikkim Legal
Nagaland Legal
Meghalaya Legal
Daman Legal
Delhi Illegal
Gujarat Illegal
Telangana Illegal
Andhra Pradesh Illegal
Odisha Illegal
Chhattisgarh Illegal
Jammu and Kashmir No Legislation
Ladakh No Legislation
Himalach Pradesh No Legislation
Lakshadweep No Legislation
Punjab No Legislation
Chandigarh No Legislation
Uttarakhand No Legislation
Rajasthan No Legislation
Haryana No Legislation
Uttar Pradesh No Legislation
Madhya Pradesh No Legislation
Jharkhand No Legislation
Bihar No Legislation
West Bengal No Legislation
Dadra and Nagal Haveli No Legislation
Karnataka No Legislation
Kerala No Legislation
Tamil Nadu No Legislation
Puducherry No Legislation
Arunachal No Legislation
Assam No Legislation
Manipur No Legislation
Mizoram No Legislation
Tripura No Legislation

Legal States

Only three states have legalised gambling in India so far and only one of them has local online gambling sites. The experiment was proven to be lucrative for both the state and local businesses and chances are more states will join in soon, since the residents are already using casinos based abroad.

  • Goa — Goa is one of the few Indian states which regulate gambling. This means that you can use land-based casinos or online casinos that are based in Goa itself.
  • Sikkim — Sikkim is a small state and it started to regulate gambling in the late 00s. It also allows for local online casinos and at this point, it’s the only one that has them.
  • Nagaland — Nagaland is unique among every other Indian state. It has technically legalised gambling and online casinos can apply for a license to operate within the state. However, the rules are much more restricted than for the casinos based abroad.
  • Meghalaya — Meghalaya is one of the sister states and it’s the third state in India to allow gambling. Players can use both casinos licensed in Meghalaya and those operating from abroad without restrictions
  • Daman — Daman is part of a larger union of states separated by the Arabian Sea. The states don’t have the same gambling laws and even though using casinos is legal in Daman, it’s not in Dadra, which is a part of the union.

Illegal States

Gambling is specifically outlawed in these states. The practice is almost as rare as allowing gambling and most states are somewhere in between. However, the regulations in these states are also unclear about the use of foreign-based casinos, and that’s what most players do. All of these states allow the players to transfer funds earned abroad.

  • Delhi — There’s a long history of gambling in Delhi. It used to be reserved for kings and sultans only. At this point, gambling in Delhi is illegal and most players use foreign-based sites to play
  • GujaratSimilar to the Public Gambling Act in the nation, Gujarat’s gambling regulations date back more than a century. Gambling is strictly prohibited in Gujarat in all forms.
  • Telangana — Telangana has the strictest gambling laws in India. All forms of gambling are illegal and it can only be done using foreign gambling sites. The government looks past this practice
  • Andhra Pradesh — Andhra Pradesh also has strict gambling laws and it’s banned completely. Online gambling is also forbidden and you’ll need a VPN to use a foreign online gambling institution
  • Odisha — Gambling is illegal in Odisha but local laws don’t mention online gambling at all. This loose end has allowed local players to use foreign casinos.
  • Chhattisgarh — online gambling is strictly prohibited under a law written in 2022, making it one of the few states in India to take a strong stance against online gambling. Unlike other states where the laws prohibiting gambling don’t mention online play, the law in Chhattisgarh covers all modern forms of gambling and imposes fines for those caught betting online or offline.

States With No Legislation

The following states have no legislation when it comes to gambling – in online casinos or in land-based ones. In practice, this means that the local players use the service of the online casinos based abroad and transfer funds to Indian cards or e-wallets. The funds are still taxed as income, regardless of where they came from.

  • Jammu and Kashmir — Jammu and Kashmir are known because of the territorial dispute between India and Pakistan, both of which claim this region. Its gambling laws allow online gambling in casinos based abroad.
  • Ladakh — Ladakh is in union with Jammu and Kashmir and this means that they share gambling laws. Using online casinos is just as easy in Ladakh.
  • Himachal Pradesh — Himachal Pradesh laws allow games of skill but don’t allow for games of luck, such as slots or lottery. However, you can use online casinos based outside India to play any game.
  • Lakshadweep — an archipelago of islands on the coast of Kerala, that doesn’t regulate online gambling. The laws currently in place in Lakshadweep don’t allow gambling, but make no mention of online gambling at all.
  • Punjab — At this point, Punjab is in the midst of a public debate about legalising gambling. The state lottery is allowed in Punjab and chances are that other forms of gambling will be legalised as well.
  • Chandigarh—  the laws regarding online gambling in the union territory Chandigarh may be outdated or unclear. While the state may turn a blind eye to players using the services of online casinos based abroad, it’s also important to understand the tax implications of gambling winnings in India. Any income or winnings generated through online gambling are subject to taxation, and the tax rate can vary depending on the amount of the winnings and the applicable tax laws.
  • Uttarakhand — Uttarakhand is one of the youngest states. It came to be in 2000 and it still has the same laws as it had when it was part of a larger union. These allow the players to use online casinos based abroad.
  • Rajasthan — Rajasthan had one other law regulating gambling other than the Public Gambling Act of 1867. This means that gambling is illegal, but online gambling isn’t mentioned at all and that’s what allows the players to use foreign sites.
  • Haryana — Haryana is a prosperous state and it tried to legalise gambling in 2005 but the attempt failed. However, at this point, it’s still possible to use foreign gambling sites.
  • Uttar Pradesh — Uttar Pradesh is one of the most populous states in India. It doesn’t allow gambling, but it has a rather liberal view towards online gambling allowing it with foreign-based casinos.
  • Madhya Pradesh — Madhya Pradesh is one of the largest states in India and gambling in it is still illegal as stated in the Public Gambling Act of 1867. This law doesn’t mention and therefore allows online gambling.
  • Jharkhand — Jharkhand is another state that follows the Law from 1867. Therefore online gambling is permitted since it’s not forbidden.
  • Bihar — Bihar is the third largest state in the country and gambling is rather popular. It’s technically illegal, but online casinos aren’t mentioned in the archaic law.
  • West Bengal — Lottery and horse racing are legal in West Bengal. The same goes for the use of online casinos based outside the state.
  • Dadra and Nagar Haveli — Dadra and Nagar Haveli are a part of the union with Daman and Diu. However, they have their own gambling laws which are more restrictive. Land-based casinos aren’t allowed, but you can gamble in a casino based abroad.
  • Maharashtra — Maharashtra forbids gambling. The rules prohibiting it, however, were written in the 19th century and do not mention online gambling. However, the lottery can be freely played in Maharashtra’s on-the-ground facilities.
  • Karnataka — Karnataka tried to ban gambling completely, but the attempt failed. At this point, the laws are the same as in most of the country – with no mention of online gambling.
  • Kerala — Kerala is known for its sunny beaches and therefore is a great place for a vacation. It allows for a state lottery and online gambling in foreign casinos.
  • Tamil Nadu — Tamil Nadu has strict laws when it comes to gambling. At one point it tried to ban “gambling in cyberspace” as well, but the courts stopped it. All other forms of gambling are banned.
  • Puducherry — Puducherry used to be a French territory before India’s independence. It allows online gambling since the old laws didn’t mention it.
  • Arunachal — Arunachal Pradesh is a part of the union of the seven states in the northeast. It doesn’t have any gambling laws of its own and it’s governed by the 1867 law. This means online gambling is allowed.
  • Assam — Assam is a state with strict laws and it doesn’t allow any gambling. This was confirmed in the 1970s law. However, this law doesn’t mention the internet at all and most players take advantage of it.
  • Manipur — Manipur doesn’t allow gambling at all, as was stated in the Public Gambling Act of 1867. However online gambling is allowed.
  • Mizoram — Mizoram is also a part of the union of the seven states of the Northeast. It doesn’t have any new gambling laws other than that of 1867.
  • Tripura — Tripura has its own set of gambling laws, issued in 1927. It allows games of skill but not games of luck, and they don’t mention online gambling since it didn’t exist at the time.

So, What is Making Online Gambling Possible in India?

There are a few reasons behind the popularity that online casinos enjoy in India. Some are about the legal framework that allows for it, and some are about the tradition of gambling and games of luck. The population is also very tech-savvy, and transferring money online is relatively easy in India.

So, you may be wondering what made gambling possible in India, given that there were legal restrictions on the practice, of dating over a century ago. We’ll try to provide an overview of the landscape that helped the industry flourish, in the few paragraphs below.

No Roots in India

Casinos that Indian players use aren’t based in India, and therefore, they aren’t subject to local laws. The laws that govern the use of the internet don’t mention online gambling, and therefore, as long as the casino isn’t based in India, the whole industry is in this grey area. This is helped by the fact that online payments are easy to make.

Virtual Money Payment

Indian laws also don’t mention online payments, and this gives plenty of freedom to the casinos. They allow for both debit and payment cards, as well as cryptocurrency and other novel payment methods.

An Indian player can use the services of an online casino based abroad and use e-wallets and cards to get their winnings.

Increasing Popularity of Online Gambling

Online gambling is becoming increasingly popular in India and abroad. That’s because younger players are playing on their phones and other mobile devices, and at this point, most casinos are looking for ways to get in on that market. It’s especially true in India, where the casinos are operating without clear laws in most states.

Taxation on Gambling Winnings in India

The winnings you earn from gambling are subjected to taxation in India. The law includes “income from other sources,” and one such source is gambling. It goes for the winnings from online and offline casinos alike. When it comes to the winnings you’ve made from online betting – it’s rather easy to prove that you’ve withdrawn funds and therefore tax administration is made simple as well.

Here’s a quick overview of the rates and taxation rules in general:

What is the Rate?

The rate is set at 30 percent. There are no exemptions to this rule, meaning that you need to pay 30 percent on your winnings regardless of how low or high they are, as long as they are over 10.000 rupees. It also doesn’t change based on the game or site.

Income Tax

When you earn over 10.000 rupees, the gambling winnings are seen as income, and that’s how they are taxed. This means that you have a right to deductions based on the expenses, such as the fees for using the site. Winnings made from gambling are combined with other income you’ve made and taxed together as well.

Key Takeaways

  • Online gambling in India remains a bit of a grey area since gambling overall is illegal in the country according to the Public Gambling Act of 1867. However, due to the fact that the laws are so old, online gambling as an entity is obviously not mentioned anywhere, creating a loophole that online casinos based abroad take advantage of without any problems.
  • India left the legality of online gambling for each state to define, but the majority of states haven’t dealt with this issue yet. Of those that did, Goa, Sikkim, Nagaland, Meghalaya, and Daman have legalized online gambling completely. On the other hand, online gambling is illegal in Delhi, Gujarat, Telengana, Odisha, Chhattisgarh, and Andhra Pradesh.
  • Even in the states in which online gambling is up in the air when it comes to legality, players are subject to taxation from gambling winnings. This tax falls under “other sources” and it is taxed at 30 percent for winnings over 10.000 rupees for one financial year.

Play at the Best Legal Casinos in India

Online gambling is legal in India, and it’s governed by individual states. Some states allow for it, others allow for some sites, and others forbid it altogether. It’s also rather easy to play at a foreign-based casino, while in India. Take a look at our list and choose one of the legal Indian sites you can use.

Frequently Asked Questions

Online gambling is legal in some states of India and illegal in others.

No, there’s no such national law.

Yes, and most do so.

Yes, you need to pay taxes on your winnings.

If you earn below 10.000 rupees, the rate is 30 percent.

Vladimir Kovačević
Vladimir Kovačević LinkedIn

Vladimir is our content editor with years of experience in the online casino and sports betting industry, which includes writing for websites like Football Whispers, Pundit Feed, and Football Ground Guide, among others. In addition to professional experience in this industry, Vladimir also has a personal relationship with sports betting and online gambling, which helps him dig deeper to provide useful, accurate, and relevant information about casino sites in India.