Online Casinos have become very popular in India, with gamblers playing blackjack, poker, slots, roulette, teen patti and many other casino games from the comfort of their own homes. With the advancement of technology and increasing digitization of the world, online gambling has seen a rapid growth in India.
However, the question that does arise is “Is online gambling Legal in India?”
Land–based gambling or betting is illegal in almost all states of India, with the exception of Goa, Daman and Diu and Sikkim owing to the Gambling Act of 1976.
However, Online Gambling in India is pretty much a grey area as there are no specific laws pertaining to online gambling. Thus it is neither legal nor illegal to bet or gamble online.
Crores of Indians gamble online and as of February 2020 the value of the Indian online gambling market is $930 million dollars. During and after the period of quarantine the value has been expected to rise four fold.
If Indians play casino games on websites that are hosted from countries where online gambling is legal, then it is next to impossible to persecute players for playing.
Game of Skill vs Game of Chance
Indian law classifies gambling games into two broad categories, game of skill and game of chance. The Indian courts have recognized that no game is a game of pure skill alone and almost all games involve some element, however small, of chance.
Betting on a game of chance is prohibited in almost all states of India. Games of Skill are exempt from almost all prohibition under Gaming Enactments.
Foreign Exchange Management
Transfer or Issue of Security by a Person Resident outside India (Fourteenth Amendment) Regulations, 2014 that governs the exchange of foreign currencies technically prohibits depositing money to gambling site in a currency other than rupees as it could be considered an exchange of foreign currencies, and thus be covered by the act.
This is why many Indians find it relatively difficult compared to our European counterparts to deposit money at online casinos from their bank or by using a credit card. An easy solution to this problem is to use an e-wallet such as Neteller, Skrill or Paytm.
The main part of legislation relating to gambling in India is the Public Gaming Act of 1867. Which, despite the fact that it is over 100 years old, still remains in place.
You can go through the complete “The Public Gambling Act, 1867”
To summarize, there are no federal laws making online gambling in India Illegal.
Please be advised: We are not lawyers or legal experts. The opinions expressed within this article are the personal opinions of the author and the legal information contained within this article has been compiled through careful research and conversations with legal experts on the topic.