Online gambling refers to the gambling of virtual assets that may or may not have real money implications, such as betting on any casino or sports-based activities over the internet.
In comparison to in-person gambling, online games of chance do not involve the physical interaction of players, with all the sessions moderated by logical computer programs. Players can virtually play a wide selection of online casino games, such as Blackjack, Poker, Roulette, and slot machines.
While gambling is prohibited under the Public Gambling Act of 1867, the law is not considered effective, particularly for online betting. Due to this, states such as Tamil Nadu and Chhattisgarh have enacted more stringent versions of the law, targeting online betting as an offence.
To regulate gambling or online casino games in India in the absence of national-level efforts, Indian states have put more pressure on the judiciary system. Several state governments have imposed bans on online gambling apps, including Punjab, Telangana, Andhra Pradesh, and Tamil Nadu.
Between regulating gambling and seeing a gap with state laws to put some order in the market, each local government has a choice. Without losing out on economic benefits and safety nets for their residents, online gambling sites with regulations in power would attract legitimate companies and more players. In contrast, those without any regulation will fall behind in the market.
Government Regulations on Online Gambling
The Public Gambling Act (PGA) is a law prior to the internet age, which serves as an example that individual states can choose to adopt or not. The PGA realizes the difference between games of skill and ones of chance. Games based on competence are explicitly exempted from the PGA’s regulations. PGA holds no sway over skills-based games.
Recently, the Chhattisgarh assembly passed a bill with the intent to prohibit gambling, including betting or wagering in person or on online platforms for financial gains. However, there is no mention of lottery tickets in the bill.
The Online Gaming (Regulation) Bill 2022 in the Lok Sabha aims to establish an effective regime to regulate the online gaming industry to prevent fraud and misuse and for matters connected to online games for real money.
Most regulatory challenges establish problem gambling in people due to addiction to winning it all, giving rise to problems such as massive debts, money laundering, and so on.