While the world progresses towards the acceptance of gambling and games of ‘skill’, India still continues to be in an indistinct in this realm. In India, gambling laws are either completely non-existent or ancient. The government is yet to amend dedicated gambling laws. Until this legal framework comes into play, online gambling is not illegal in most parts of the country.
Based on the fact that different gambling games are mentioned in Indian mythological epics, it is pretty evident that Indians love to gamble. Statistically, the Indian gambling market is still worth over US$130 billion. However, there is still an unclarity in the implications of the archaic laws which has caused a lot of confusion in the gambling community.
In this article, we will condense the legal and historical framework of gambling laws. Here’s all that we’ll talk about:
- Is gambling legal in India?
- Why was gambling banned in India?
- Is online gambling legal in India?
- International gambling sites legally operating in India
Is Gambling Legal in India?
Gambling via any medium, whether on online casinos or traditional offline arenas, is a growing concern in the Indian parliament. On one hand, members of the parliament support a complete ban on any form of gambling, regardless of the medium. On the other hand, some authorities advocate a legal but regulated gambling scenario in the country to ensure the safety of the players.
Despite numerous meetings and discussions on this issue, the status of gambling still remains unclear. Resultantly, there are no laws in India prohibiting or specifying online gambling that the authorities can underline which outlaws online gambling. In this scenario, it can be safely stated that online gambling is not illegal for the most part but its status is somewhat on the fence. The online gambling spectrum currently exists in a state of neither being legal nor illegal. It all comes down to each state to set its own legislation on online gambling in their jurisdiction.
Regulated gambling has not quite picked up pace in the country yet. Not many states have issued guidelines for gambling. For instance, Maharashtra has prohibited all forms of gambling within state borders. This includes both online and offline gambling. On the other hand, states like Goa, Daman, and Sikkim have legalized gambling in a regulated manner. You can find brick and mortar casinos operating in both states that attract gambling lovers from all over the country as well as the tourists from abroad. Apart from these states and union territories have any well-defined rules regarding gambling in any format.
Why was Gambling Banned in India?
For centuries, people have enjoyed carefree gambling in India. These games were played without any gambling laws employed to regulate them, definitely not prohibit them. Upon the arrival of the British, the scenario changed drastically in every facet of life. After the colonization of the entire Indian subcontinent, the British authorities began imposing their own morals on the Indian population. Eventually, they even went on to prohibit gambling in the country in 1867 by enacting the country’s first gambling law. This act was known as ‘The Public Gambling Act of 1867’, the first law in India to prohibit gambling completely.
Fast forward to over 200 years, our government has left the act almost untouched except for a few amendments in the colonial law. Unfortunately, the centuries-old law is still in effect in most parts of the country except for a few states that have enacted their own gambling regulations.
Does this law account for online gambling in India? Obviously not. ‘Online’ anything did not exist back in the mid-1800s and so the law has zero rules in terms of online gambling. This is why it is safe to assume that online gambling is legal throughout the country unless stated by the state.
Is Online Gambling Legal in India?
When we talk about gambling laws, it is a 200-year old deal. Back then the concept of ‘online’ was non-existent in the world. Flashy brick and mortar casinos were not even a thing, let alone virtual casinos. As a result, according to the laws that India currently abides by, the one amended in the mid-1800s, has no mention of online casinos whatsoever. Based on this fact, it is safe to assume that online gambling is completely legal in the country, except in the states that have dedicated laws prohibiting the practice.
In recent days, numerous online casinos are sprouting across the world and are operational in India, it is necessary for the center or states to provide clear federal legislation that can clarify the status of whether online gambling is legal or not. Until that happens, gambling in India will remain in a confusing stage.
If you fancy gambling, especially online, then you don’t need to worry about the legalities. You are in your full legal right to do so unless you don’t live in one of the states where online gambling is banned.
International Gambling Sites Legally Operating in India
Online gambling has facilitated users to access casinos virtually across the globe. With these in place, gambling enthusiasts can easily play their favorite games of different categories. Indian players can in fact access indigenous games such as Andar Bahar and Teen Patti on online gambling platforms.
There are several international gambling sites that are operational in India. Despite the government’s failed attempts of regulating online gambling in the form of two laws, not much has changed in the gambling scenario. Indian gamblers have no trouble in playing online casinos, making transactions, and enjoying their passion for gambling. Contributing enormously to the online gambling industry, some gambling platforms have employed dedicated services for Indian players such as INR payment, indigenous payment gateways, Indian casino games, Hindi language support, etc.
Some of the most popular online casinos preferred by Indian players include:
- Royal Panda
Conclusively, it is safe to say that despite some anomaly in the gambling rules, the online gambling market is pretty much thriving in the country. As for the legalities, the anonymity in the realm has provided the players with the benefit of doubt that can be used to access online gambling without falling in the gray side of the law