Is Online Gambling Legal in India? Know the Facts
The Public Gambling Act of 1867, a Federal Law, originally only covered the ten British-controlled states in India back then. At present, it covers all states in the country. The government allows each state to create its law about gambling, and it supersedes the Federal Law. So if you are in a state with a gambling regulation, then… Read More »
The Public Gambling Act of 1867, a Federal Law, originally only covered the ten British-controlled states in India back then. At present, it covers all states in the country. The government allows each state to create its law about gambling, and it supersedes the Federal Law. So if you are in a state with a gambling regulation, then that is the one to follow over the Federal Law.
Since The Public Gambling Act of 1867 was created long before online casinos started operating, the law does not cover it. However, three states in India prohibit gambling in general, including online gambling. They are Maharashtra, Andhra Pradesh, and Telangana. Although online casinos are illegal in these states, no one has been charged or jailed for violating this law as of this writing. Another state, Sikkim, made it legal to operate both land-based and online casinos, although regulated. Nagaland is another state that regulates online gambling. It provides license to gambling sites that offer games of skills only, such as poker, rummy, and horse race betting. Games of chance are prohibited. Basically, it’s legal to play online casinos in most states, except for the ones that prohibit it.
Other laws to consider in India connected to gambling
Aside from The Public Gambling Act of 1867, India has other laws to consider when gambling. They are not directly about gambling, but they are somehow related to it. One of them is the Foreign Exchange Management Act of 1999 or FEMA. It covers the law concerning currency exchange and international trading. The act states that depositing money using other currencies besides Indian rupees to an online gambling account is considered illegal.
There is a workaround to play online casinos in states where it is not prohibited without going against FEMA. One option is to allow transactions using rupees, and the other one is to use an electronic wallet or e-wallet.
Another law to consider when playing online casinos in India is the Information Technology Act of 2000. Like FEMA, it also does not have anything specific about gambling, but it states that the government has the right to block websites as they see necessary. It’s not clear why they block particular sites, but they already did it on some gambling sites. They would request for Internet service providers not to allow access to these sites. Take this risk into consideration when playing online casinos in the country, especially if dealing with a site that is not licensed or registered.
Gambling on overseas regulated and licensed sites
If you are in India, you will still have access to gambling sites that operate from other countries. That is, of course, if the government does not block them. They have the authority to do so according to the Information Technology Act of 2000. The federal government does not say anything about this matter, so you can legally play, except again in the three states mentioned that prohibit gambling in general.
Be sure to check with the law of the state you are in before playing casino games online, especially since they can be amended anytime. It’s to ensure that you are not violating anything that could cause you trouble with the authority.