Are Online Casinos Legal in India?

By | July 22, 2019
Are Online Casinos Legal in India?

The casino industry is highly profitable in most countries including the US and the UK, Australia, Canada, and Singapore. In India, it’s recently emerged on the surface, all thanks to the introduction of online casinos. This is because most casinos games didn’t exist here before because of government restrictions which by the way, are applicable even today.

Today, the gambling scene in India has improved a lot. You can find tons of games like roulette, poker, etc. on the Internet and you can play most of them on your phone too. However, there is still confusion about the legality of these games.

Are Online Casinos Legal in India?

For the most part, offline gambling is illegal in India. However, it’s difficult to determine the legal ground for online gambling as the offline gambling itself has a lot of grey area. In fact, time and again debates were held on the subject in which the government considered the legalization of gambling as that could contribute to its revenue. Last year, sports betting legalization moved ahead as the Law Commission recommended for the same as per the regulations. So, we are definitely headed in the right direction, that’s for sure.

Where do we Stand Today?

The main legislation concerning gambling in India is the Public Gaming Act of 1867. However, it applies to only 10 states as it dates back to the British regime. It says that it’s illegal to run a venue that’s used for gambling and anyone who is found to be visiting such a venue may also face legal action.

Interestingly, the legislation says that all forms of gambling whether we talk about skill-based games and luck-based games are illegal. This is because as per the definitions that are given in the legislation, gambling covers activities and undertakings that involve you risking money to win money. However, there is another legislation that opposes this rule and creates even more confusion which is given below.

Status of Online Gambling

There is a reason why fantasy sports platforms like Dream11 are so popular in India and face no interference from the government or legal bodies. This is because the Public Gaming Act of 1867 has no mention of online gambling mainly because of the fact that there was no such thing called “online” back then, let alone “online gambling”.

Another noteworthy act that can interfere with the online gambling industry in India is The Information Technology Act of 2000 which covers offenses related to online activities. The problem is that even it doesn’t specifically share provisions on online gambling.

The ground reality is that it’s unclear how online casino websites that are operated in India are affected legally. This is because most of these websites are run by foreign businesses that are located outside of India and the government can’t take any kind of legal action against them. That said, there is nothing stopping the government to approach gamblers in India who are playing casino games on these platforms- only it hasn’t taken any major action yet.

If you are worried about playing online casino games in India, then you needn’t. There are millions of Indian players on popular casino platforms already and none have faced any legal action. The only thing you need to worry about if you want to play online casino games is the authenticity and reputation of the websites you pick.

If you are new to online gambling, then sure that you read the reviews before you select a website and avoid depositing large sums of money first. Have fun, and good luck!

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