What Does Indian Gambling Law Mean for Operators?
The rapid advancement of mobile technology in India has spawned great interest in online gaming and online gambling. Now over 500,000 million people can connect daily. Internet penetration has also increased over the years allowing Indians to engage in recreational activities like online gambling. A report by the Week shows 40% of online gamblers are Indians, surpassing gamblers… Read More »
The rapid advancement of mobile technology in India has spawned great interest in online gaming and online gambling. Now over 500,000 million people can connect daily. Internet penetration has also increased over the years allowing Indians to engage in recreational activities like online gambling.
A report by the Week shows 40% of online gamblers are Indians, surpassing gamblers in the United Kingdom. Despite all such positive statistics, the government imposes strict laws on the use of online gambling apps.
So much so that Google’s Playstore didn’t include India in its updated list of gambling app-allowed countries. One would wonder what these strict laws mean for online gambling operators. Here’s more about the subject.
What is Online Gambling?
It is the use of the internet to wager and earn money. Online gambling is similar to playing in a land-based casino, only that it’s in a virtual setting. It includes playing sports games, poker, casino games. Generally, users place bets via online platforms like credit and debit cards, ewallets, internet banking, etc. Once you place a bet, the online operator sends or collects wins or loses accordingly.
Indian Laws About Gambling
According to the Public Gambling Act of 1867, citizens are prohibited from operating public gambling houses. The penalty for breaking this law is 3-month imprisonment or a fine of 200 Rupees. What’s more, the Act prohibits Indian citizens from visiting gambling houses; if found, you’re liable to a penalty of 100 Rupee or imprisonment of one month.
Further, the law categorized games as either a game of chance or a game of skill. Games of chance are illegal, and those of skill are legal. This separation still sparks debates about whether some online games are a matter of luck or skill. However, local and foreign gambling operators use this law to set up land-based casinos. Apart from the central gambling law, the government allows states to formulate regulations regarding gambling activities within their jurisdictions.
What Does it Mean for Online Gambling?
The strict laws have led to a surge in online gambling as fans look for less restrictive gambling ways. And with the rapid internet prevalence, it’s easier for players to sign up to online casinos. Special tools like this test of bookmaker apps come in handy if you want to avoid signing up to illegal online casinos.
Also, the government hasn’t amended laws to ban online casinos allowing offshore, and local online operators to serve the market without legal impediments. The only requirement from the government is that the companies support the Indian Rupee as one of the currencies for making gaming transactions.
Even so, the government is still at qualms with online gambling operators. In fact, some state governments like Tamil Nadu, Andhra Pradesh, and Punjab have imposed bans on online gambling apps. Andhra state is one excellent example of India’s strict laws on online gambling. Reports show the state passed a law banning online gambling entirely due to increased suicides among young people who take debt to play the games.
The home minister cited the lack of regulation and the presence of illegal operators as the reason for banning gambling in the state. The state also planned to amend a law prohibiting online gambling, online gaming, and online betting. What’s more, it had urged the central government to order internet service providers to block access to 132 apps and websites providing such services in the country.
India is a ripe ground for online gambling apps, but the recent developments may cause many operators to avoid setting up camp in the country. Proposals to legalize online gambling often fall on dead ears despite the many legislators supporting the move.
That’s why renowned companies like Google hold off including India in gambling-app allowed countries. This means players can’t find Paytme and Paytm first games on Google’s PlayStore. Another disadvantage is the lost revenue. Studies show the country loses 10.2 billion rupees in tax from online gambling.
Which Online Gambling Games are Available?
Players can play card games like the popular Teen Patti, Roulette, Blackjack, Andar Bahar, Indian Flush, and Barract.
This detailed overview about India’s gambling law should help local and foreign operators planning to introduce gambling apps manage their expectations. With gambling apps remaining at the mercy of state governments, operators may need to reconsider launching the apps for a while.