Most countries across the world are allowing participation in gambling of some types, and India is not an exception of this. India is one such nation that has myriads of casino fans. Gamblers from India have so many casino and game options to choose from. But, some people still want to get the answer to ‘Is online gambling legally approved in India’. Well, there is no clarity on the legal status of web-based gambling in India. There are no straightforward and guaranteed answers to what is permitted and what is banned legally. But, there are so many sources that define the historical and cultural presence of gambling everywhere in India. From national cricket matches, card games, table games, to animal fights, gambling is present in multiple areas of everyday life.
Despite the fact that more than millions of Indian people are enjoying casino activities, the legal status of online gambling always remains a secret. Majority of the people gets confused due to outdated legislation that set back in the 1800s, which states that land-based gambling is restricted while the online casino is unregulated.
In this article, you’ll discover the current legal landscape of web-based gaming in India.
Table of Contents
Indian Legal Landscape Of Online Gaming
Gaming sector comprises of 2 significant parts – online skill-based games (casually or socially) and gambling. Gambling activities are simply referred to as Gaming in the eyes of Indian laws. Betting and gambling have been included as subject-matter for legislation under 7th schedule of Indian constitution. Web-based games receive licensing by most of the states based on ‘Games of Skill’ guidelines under PGA (Public Gambling Act) 1867. Still, there are no complete rules that monitor the field of online gaming in India.
Is Online Gambling Legal In India?
Individual state government regulates skill games and casino games such as casino tables games and slots. However, the recent legal landscape for online gambling is still complex. There is no clear definition of the terms – online sports betting & gambling. The term gambling is further sub-divided into several categories of Games of Skill, Games of Chance, and Games of both Skill & Chance.
♦ Game of Pure Chance
These types of games are mainly prohibited under most of the state laws. It is heavily restricted than sports betting and lotteries.
♦ Game of Skill
These sorts of games are considered with higher leniency in terms of state laws. Even it is already accepted as legal.
♦ Game of Chance and Skill
These are the casino games that involve the use of proven skills and power of chance at some level. Unlike games of skill, these types of gaming options enjoy only a little status of leniency.
In the past few days, it has been found that some Indian states prohibit the leniency only just to the game of skill. But, some states still restrict all types of gambling. In simpler terms, the law in India is yet making constant efforts to go in combination with the dynamic realities of the gaming market. It is unclear to completely define the legal nature of online gambling in India.
The main purpose behind prohibiting gambling in India has always been to stop the illegal activities, that may result in the loss of the hard-earned money of a common man or other losses. Well, this reason is unquestionably right, but there are several types of positive results that are noticed by putting strict laws for gambling in certain situations. It includes employment opportunities, increased revenue for the government, fewer fraud cases, and lots more.
Hence, there is a need for the introduction of new central law, that clearly answers what is considered as lotteries, casual gaming, gambling, and sports betting. It should understandably identify what types of activities are restricted and which of them are allowed to be enjoyed legally under the situations described in the state legislation.
Acts That Intended To Restrict Web-Based Gambling Practices
Horse Racing and Lotteries are fully legal forms of gambling across India. At the beginning of the 21st century, web-based gambling is governed for Indian regulation almost completely because there was nothing wrong that can be considered as illegal. Information Technology Act 2000 disallowed publication of online gambling information on the internet. But, it has been found that there is no law that can specifically prevent gamblers in India from placing the bets over the web.
Federal Information Technology Act is another act, that was aimed to prohibit the practice of online gambling activities in India. It holds internet service providers responsible for giving a confirmation that overseas casino or betting websites are completely blocked to avoid the reach by Indian players. But, just like the Information Technology (IT) Act 2000, Federal Information Technology Act also got failed in restricting the Indian people from accessing internet betting services. Residents in India can still use bookmakers such as Betway, William Hill, and Ladbrokes.
Attempts By AIGF
All India Gaming Federation (AIGF) has approached members of some political parties suggesting that they should include legalization, regulation, and taxing of online gaming sector under centralized authority. Regulation of web-based gambling helps with the increased potential source for the creation of substantial profitability, reduction of illegal activities such as match-fixing, and also supports the creation of jobs.
AIGF also states that they are working in collaboration with the state government and organizations to launch 26% FDI for the legalization of activities associated with gaming. Lodha committee also suggests that betting or gambling legalization would hit two birds with the same stone by serving both the improved economy and the games.
Previous Attempts By Law Commission Of India
In the year 2017, the Indian Supreme Court was thinking whether or not to allow the legalization of sports betting and gambling in the country. These 2 activities were declared illegal. It was announced that people operating a gambling house at that time will be liable for imprisonment and monetary charges.
21st Law Commission of India in July 2018 stated that legalizing gambling is not good in India in recent days. So, the state authorities should make sure the overall legalization of online gambling and sports betting in India according to a model law passed by the Parliament. The Law Commission also recommended the strategy of PAN Card and Aadhaar linking for easier identification and taxation, and keeping the complete record of this.
Rise In Indian Gambling Market
Revenue of gambling in India has seen significant growth from 2008-2018 in terms of million U.S. dollars. The value of this market is estimated to rise in the years to come with more and more people showing interest in casino games. The Indian gambling market is expected to be worth 60 billion U.S. dollars every year.
According to a 276th report of the Indian Law Commission, the gambling market in the current days will be more valuable with the amount of $360 million. It is estimated to reach $1 billion by 2021. On the basis of this report, Indian law commission said that regulating the industry of gambling in India will contribute with huge differences in boosted revenue generation.
Online gambling in India is in its infancy stage in the current days and is developing at a good pace. Sikkim state had decided to provide 3 licenses for online gambling as far as the year 2010. Finally, in October 2014, the government of this state had issued the 1st online gambling license. In the current days, there is no law applicable for placing a bet at foreign-based casino sites.
There are many gaming software providers and casino affiliate sites, that are promoting casino-type gaming in India. Players have plenty of options to select from a massive selection of casino games such as online slot machines, blackjack, video poker, craps, roulette, and baccarat. In addition, players are also loving local games such as Flish, Andar Bahar, and more.
Which Is The Reliable Online Casino Website In India?
There are numbers of overseas and Indian online casino sites, that allow players in India to enjoy the range of games. But, it is important to select one that offers the marvelous gaming experience as per your preference in a secure and safe casino environment. The licensed and regulated web-based casino offers the best possible game selection with improved stream quality in the safe gambling environment.
Following are the top-rated casinos that allow Indian residents to enjoy the incredible gambling experience:
All of these online casinos are counted among the top casinos of the gambling industry for offering an excellent range of games such as live dealer, scratch cards, table games, slots, mobile casino games, video poker, and lots more. Gamers are allowed to make a deposit and take out the money using several banking options including wire transfers, e-wallets, credit card, debit card, and so many more. The nice feature is that payments are accepted in various types of currencies used across the world. Leo Vegas, Betway, Jeetwin, and Royal Panda casino are the most popular casinos that accept payment in Indian rupees.
Above-listed casinos hold the license by the Malta Gaming Authority (MGA) and/or United Kingdom Gambling Commission (UKGC). The majority of the sites have got a seal of approval from the internationally recognized company – eCOGRA after auditing the games for complete fairness and security. Latest encryption technology is used for protecting the sensitive details of players from prying eyes. Thus, you can start playing in any of these world-renowned casino sites at any time after reading the terms and conditions thoroughly.
How To Find A Secure Online Casino Site In India?
Don’t give focus only on the look and feel of the casino, but there are so many factors you must keep into consideration. Here are the most important things that you must look for while choosing the best online casino website –
» Licensing and regulation by trustworthy authorities and companies for practicing ethical and legal casino operations.
» Data encryption software technology used for the protection of personal and financial details during transactions.
» Ownership by a reputable brand of the gambling market.
» Reviews and comments from players.
» A list of gaming software companies providing the range of games including slot machines, pokers, table games, etc.
» Verification by a prominent authority.
» Communication channels and duration for customer service – live chat, call, and email round the clock.
» A range of bonuses and promotions offered to new and existing players, wagering requirements, and bonus terms & conditions.
» Withdrawal and deposit methods, their processing time, fee, and currencies accepted.
» Faster payouts.
» Platform interface and navigation.
» Payout percentage.
» Device compatibility.
With a long list of points to consider, it might seem quite troubling for you. If you don’t know how to look for all these things, then you must visit the websites providing the complete list of well-known online casinos at one platform with their detailed information such as software & licensing, history, pros & cons, bonus & promotions, payment methods, casino slots, pokers, and lots more. This would be the best way to end up with the selection of a casino that perfectly suits your individual gaming desires and preferences.
Start Winning In India’s Best Online Casino
So, there you have the complete knowledge of the legal landscape of online gambling in India, and casino options you have to experience the mind-blowing casino entertainment. Now, it is up to you to decide which Indian-friendly casino site you must choose. If you don’t want to lose your hard-earned money due to lack of vital gaming tips and tricks, then you must try your luck in free to play casino games. Create a free player account and find the games that are designed only for fun. Once you master the game strategies, you can move to real-money games to win a big.
Image Credit To Benoit Dare