India’s Current Laws on the Legitimacy of Online Gambling 

India’s online gambling landscape is a hard one to navigate. This is mainly because the laws around what should and shouldn’t be legal are still murky to the country itself. For the sake of finding clarity, we will share some of the most evident laws with you in this article. With its huge population and a keen interest in technology, the country has the potential to become a booming location for online gambling operators.

All you need to know about gambling laws in India

The gambling laws in India stem from an act that was put into effect in 1867, which was meant for gambling houses and then later applied to casinos as well. Seemingly, the government has left it to the individual states to decide whether or not to allow gambling legally or not. Out of 28 states, three have casinos, while the rest have banned gambling altogether. 

Laws in India on online gambling

At this point, it should go without mentioning that the 1867 Public Gambling Act makes no mention of online gambling. Logically speaking, gambling doesn’t morph into something else once it is online, so it is still a form of gambling. Therefore, where it was illegal before, it still should be, even when playing online. 

Regardless of the platform, while that may seem like the obvious option, some believe the state should decide whether or not online gambling should be prohibited. A few have done just that, excluding Goa, Sikkim and Daman, which have all handed out licenses for online gambling in their states.

Laws around offshore gambling in India

Offshore, in this case, refers to states within India which have legalised gambling where you may be allowed to play games from Amazon Slots Casino and other international casinos. These casinos readily offer their services to international players regardless of where the player is located. 

For instance, a betting platform with a licence from Malta or Curacao may try to find customers in India under the assumption that gambling is legal there, only to be met with restrictions. 

Because the country hasn’t blocked such sites for the most part of India, Indian gamblers have access to them. One of the major obstacles for new players that may arise is finding difficulties with the deposit methods. Thus, leading to more creative, niche deposit methods, such as opting for e-wallets and cryptocurrencies. 

Games that require skill vs Games of chance

According to the 1867 law, gambling on games of chance is prohibited, while betting on games which require skill is considered legal. Which, once again, confuses online gamblers. Betting on horses is legal, but betting on cricket isn’t. 

Rummy is considered a game of skill, and poker is considered a game of chance. In September 2022, a government-commissioned panel suggested that the lawmakers verify, once and for all, which games are of chance and which are of skill on a national level. 

Punishment for gambling in India

Based on the 1867 law, if you were caught gambling in a gambling house or running one, you faced fines and/or imprisonment. These days, like in other countries in the world, punishment is reserved more for operators than it is for participants. 

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