It is not a secret that online gambling is a favourite activity that currently attracts many players from India. However, the exciting activity comes with a few uncertainties about the legality of online gambling in India.
Some of the confusing questions in the minds of many players include: should you gamble online in India? Do Indian casino players and sports bettors risk being prosecuted for gambling online? This article sheds some light on the current legal situation of online gambling in India.
The Public Gambling Act, 1867
Gambling in India is governed by the Public Gambling Act, of 1867. The Act regulates digital as well as land-based gambling activities in the country, with the various Indian states being mandated to regulate gambling within their specific territories. The act forbids running or visiting a public gaming house and players risk being prosecuted for playing in public land-based casinos.
Most players are thus aware that land-based casino gambling is prohibited in many Indian states apart from a few states such as Goa, Sikkim, and Daman which have embraced land-based casino gambling. Most Indian online gamblers, however, do not have clear facts on the legality of gambling online with brands such as Bet365.com, Jeetwin.com or even betting exchanges such as Mountbet.com. This is because, in many Indian states, the law is clear on prohibiting carrying out any form of gambling that involves games of chance, which would include casino slots and most table and card games.
However, understandably, the archaic Act does not exhaustively cover internet gambling which might not have been a great possibility at the time the law was drafted. The current technological advancement has thus provided a loophole for Indian gamers to access online gaming services on the internet without any risk of facing persecution.
Is it Legal to Gamble Online in India? Different States, Different Rules
As explained above, there is no specific law that prohibits gambling online if the Public Gambling Act, 1867 is to be exclusively considered. However, since the various states are tasked with observing and regulating gambling activities, it is advisable to observe the gambling rules in specific states. Most of the Indian states prohibit gambling in games of chance in totality without specifying the repercussions of gambling online.
Some states such as Sikkim and Nagaland, however, have enacted specific rules regarding online gambling. In Sikkim for instance, the Sikkim Online Gaming (Regulation) Amendments Act, 2009 permits and regulates online gambling. The state accepts online gambling through an intranet or online casinos which are specifically based in Sikkim if the online provider obtains a license from the state.
Sikkim also accepts online gambling from overseas operators with the state accepting sites that provide online games and sports games. Nagaland state has also gone a step further and local operators from within India can apply for a license to provide online skill games such as online poker games, rummy, and Virtual sports.
Indian Players Can Gamble Online
It is possible to gamble online as there are many online casinos where Indian players can sign up and access online gambling services. Though the online gambling sites operate from overseas, they must be licensed and regulated from the locations in which they operate from.
For instance, online gaming sites that have their headquarters in the United Kingdom must be licensed and regulated by the UK Gambling Commission. Similarly, legal online casinos that operate from Malta must be licensed and regulated by the Malta Gaming Authority.
Online Casinos are Safe and Secure for Indian Players
Indian players will find that there are countless overseas casinos that accept players from India. Players should however carry out due diligence when gambling online.
For instance, before joining an online casino, Indian players should first ensure that they confirm that the online gambling site is legally allowed to operate overseas. The Indian online casino should also have a good reputation as well as maintain high gambling standards, including supporting payments in Indian Rupees and providing fast payouts.
Now that we have that out of the way, you can go ahead and review the best Indian online casinos and sports betting sites if you trust the online gaming site you choose.