Gaming & Gambling Law
Betting or gambling is illegal in most of India. But there is no law that makes online betting an illegal activity. Offshore betting companies are apparently using this ‘loophole’ to lure Indians to bet on pretty much everything. It also has a video on how to open an online account at one of the betting agencies.
Gaming and gambling laws are governed by which act in India?
The Public Gambling Act of 1867 is a central law that prohibits running or being in charge of a public gambling house. The penalty for breaking this law is a fine of ₹200 or imprisonment of up to 3 months.
General Gambling Legislation in India?
The Public Gaming Act made it illegal to operate a venue where gambling took place. It also made it illegal to visit such a venue. While this is clear enough, there’s no precise definition of gambling within the act. This makes it hard to determine, for example, whether betting on a game of cricket is illegal in the same way as betting on the roll of a dice might be.
It could be argued that cricket betting is skill based, and therefore not covered by the act, whereas betting on the roll of a dice is pure chance.
This argument is strengthened by the following clause within the act.
“Act not to apply to certain games. Nothing in the foregoing provisions of this Act contained shall be held to apply to any game of mere skill wherever played”
Horse Racing Betting In India?
Horse racing has long been a popular sport in India. There are several racecourses throughout the region, and Race meetings regularly attract large audiences. Bookmakers offer their services legally at these racecourses, along with the tote operators who provide pool betting. Horse racing betting is also legal off course, and betting parlors exist in many parts of the country.
Betting on horse races remains to be legal in the eyes of law. There are numerous state legislations in India which either ban or permit betting on horse races. Goa and Sikkim are the only two states which have authorized betting in their states.
Lotteries In India?
‘Lottery‘ has been defined in the Lotteries (Regulation) Act 1998 under Section 2(b), as follows: ‘lottery‘ means a scheme, in whatever form and by whatever name called for the distribution of prizes by lot or chance to those persons participating in the chances of a prize by purchasing tickets.
Is lottery illegal in India?
The lottery is not illegal in India as each state determines whether or not to legalize lotteries. 13 Indian states have legalized the lottery including Assam, Arunachal Pradesh, Goa, Kerala, Madhya Pradesh, Maharashtra, Manipur, Meghalaya, Mizoram, Nagaland, Punjab, Sikkim, and West Bengal.
Casino Gambling in India?
There are two state governments in India that have passed state level legislation to allow legalized casino gambling. Goa was the first to do so, initially to allow slot machines in hotels and subsequently to allow fully fledged casinos. The state is now home to several land based casinos and a number of cruise ship based casinos.
It has become a very popular tourist destination partially because of this.
Sikkim was the next state to legalize casino gambling, and it currently hosts two land based casinos. It’s also a frontrunner in legalizing online gambling.
Casino gaming is regulated under State-wise anti-gambling laws in India (“Gaming Enactments”). Under most Gaming Enactments, casino games are treated as Gambling activities in India, and are prohibited. This applies to both digital and land-based casino gaming.
Is online gaming legal in India?
Betting or gambling is illegal in most of India. But there is no law that makes online betting an illegal activity.
Playing games of skill for money is only legal in the real form, online games cannot be compared to real games; Attracting business or enticing players by alluring them with prize money is illegal; Gaming sites partaking a slice on the winning hand are illegal as they amount to a virtual gambling house.
Is there any state in India for online gaming law?
Sikkim is so far the only state in India that has enacted a statute pertaining to online gaming i.e. Sikkim Online Gaming (Regulation) Act, 2008 (“Sikkim Gaming Act”).
Online Gambling in India
The Public Gaming Act of 1867 makes no reference to online gambling. This is no surprise, given that the internet was a long way from being invented when it was introduced. It could be argued that operating a gambling website in India is deemed illegal under the terms of this act, given its wording, but this is far from clear.
There’s also another act that could be considered to relate to online betting and gaming: The Information Technology Act of 2000. This makes provisions for various offences relating to online activity, although again there’s no specific mention of online gambling being illegal. It does give the Indian government the power to block foreign websites, however.
The government has used this power to instruct Internet Service Providers to prevent Indian residents from accessing certain foreign betting and gaming sites, but we don’t know for sure how effective this has been or which sites have been blocked.
At the state level, there are two states which have introduced legislation relating specifically to online gambling. In Maharashtra, it’s completely prohibited, while in Sikkim the government now has the authority to issue licenses to operators wishing to provide online gambling services within the state. This is a notable step forward for regulated gambling in India.
Sikkim planned to offer three online gambling licenses in 2010. This failed despite India being the most sought out country for online gambling. Sikkim also permits an online lottery, which takes bets from players throughout India. It was expected that other states would follow Sikkim, thereby opening up a major online gambling market throughout India.
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