Is it Legal to Bet on Online Casinos in India

Is it Legal to Bet on Online Casinos in India?

India is home to more than a billion people, and we can safely say that it is a country where cricket and Bollywood are not only seen just as an entertainment. Indians desperately love to play and watch cricket. The big question in everyone’s minds is whether online betting is legal in India.

Yes, it is hundred percent legal to bet on online casino websites in India much unlike the popular belief. With the staggering rise of number of players and money won on these casinos more and more Indians from all walks of life are becoming allured to this attraction. Expert says,

“The legal situation regarding the use of online betting sites in India is definitely unclear. The Public Gaming Act of 1867 makes no reference to online betting”.

History of Gambling Law

Gambling was first banned in India during the colonial period under the Public Gambling Act of 1867. This law prohibited the offering of gambling services throughout India and the visiting and use of public gambling establishments.

Indian betting law makes no mention of online betting as it was done many years before the invention of the internet. So comes the internet, and people start asking: Does this mean that online betting is legal because the law doesn’t explicitly prohibit it from 1867? The short answer is yes.

If the Government of India wanted to ban online betting altogether, they could have amended the law to ban online betting, but they never did.

With the capacity of playing games such as Blackjack, Teen Patti, online Slots and Poker in your own comforts because of the advancement of security and technology, the growth in India has been so rapid that in the past 8 months (March’20 to Oct’20) the number of players has grown by 4 times.

As far as real land gambling or betting is concerned, unlike online gambling, it is illegal in almost every state in India except Goa, Daman and Diu, and Sikkim due to the 1976 Gambling Act.

The laws of online gambling are in a slightly gray area. There are no laws that state that you are not allowed to gamble online and similarly there are no laws that say that gambling online is legal.

However this does not mean that the casinos are unregulated, they have to follow stringent laws set by international regulation bodies that make sure of players safety and that the casinos always remain player first.

Moreover if players gamble from India on websites that are hosted abroad it is essentially impossible for the government to prosecute anyone. For at least the past 10 years no one has ever been prosecuted by the country for gambling online.

Specifications of the Indian Law:

Games of skill v/s chance:

The law in India defines the gambling games under two categories, skill and chance. Games of skill are those which are wholly dependent on luck such as slots and games that require skill such as teen patti. But they also recognize that there is no game that works on player skills alone and has a little bit of luck involved. Betting in land based casinos on games of luck is not deemed to be legal in some states of betting on casinos that are hosted in India. Luckily all top casinos such as Royal Panda, 10Cric and Dafabet in the world as hosted in Europe.

Foreign Exchange Management

Transfer or Issue of Security by a Person Resident outside India (Fourteenth Amendment) Regulations, 2014. This is a law that governs spending and exchanging foreign currencies and it technically do not allow to deposit money in international currencies. And that’s why we have found casinos that let you deposit in Indian Rupee (INR) using any payment method of your choice including bank transfer, several e-wallets and even crypto currency!

What is the current legal situation of betting in India?

With India being such a diverse country, it is not surprising that there are states that offer people the opportunity to bet on sport legally. But where is betting legal in India? Interestingly, the northeastern state of Sikkim has demonstrated a strong willingness to enforce legal bets. This was evident when the state opened its first casino in 2009 and even developed a number of successful lotteries that offered people the opportunity to win big money in the ultimate gamble.

We’ve also seen places like Goa and Daman open casinos like Casino Deltin Royale and Casino Pride 2. So if you’re still asking if betting is legal in India, it’s clear that it’s allowed in some areas, and only for licensed lotteries and casino operations. But since cricket is undoubtedly the most popular sport in India, many will still be looking for whether cricket betting is legal in India. Fortunately, the online revolution seems to have allowed sports fans to bet on sports like cricket in a whole new way.

  • Horse racing and lottery are legal in India. Horse racing involves some prior skills, so it’s not just about gambling.
  • Several Indian states have legalized lotteries. These states are Mizoram, Manipur, Meghalaya, Punjab, Nagaland, Goa, Kerala, Arunachal Pradesh, West Bengal, Sikkim, Assam, Maharashtra, and Madhya Pradesh.
  • In Goa, Sikkim, Nagaland and Daman under the Public Gambling Act 1976, online gambling and land-based casinos are legalized.
  • Maharashtra has banned gambling and considers gambling illegal under the Bombay Prevention of Gambling Act of 1887
  • E-games (gambling) legalized in Sikkim and Nagaland
  • Under the Telangana State Gaming Act 1974, Telangana and Arunachal Pradesh consider the game of skill illegal.

What should you consider in an online betting site?

There are quite a few areas to consider when choosing a cricket betting site. Continuing the topic of legality, make sure that the particular bookmaker is properly licensed. Well-known licenses include UKGC, MGA and Curacao. These are usually located in the footer section of the site and are important as they constantly check the betting pages to make sure they are installing fair games.

The licenses also ensure that the bookmaker considers the security of your sensitive information. You provide your financial and personal data, and the last thing you want is for the rouge bookmaker to steal this personal data and use it elsewhere.

If you continue to ask if betting is legal in India, we have hopefully clarified a few things. While you can’t find bookmakers in India under gambling laws, online gambling loopholes have meant that many offshore sports betting sites can be used without causing too many legal problems.

However, keep in mind that not all betting sites can be trusted, so always look for a reputable online gambling license. In addition, the legal gray area around online betting means that there is no 100% guarantee that you will not have a problem with the authorities if you use an offshore gambling site. But if you are still worried about issues like online betting is legal in India, you can take comfort in the fact that many sports fans can enjoy safe online betting on one of the many excellent sports betting sites.

Note: The legal information in this article has been compiled through careful research and discussions with legal experts. We have made every effort to answer your question honestly, but if you would like a legally binding answer, we encourage you to contact an legal authority.

Happy Gambling!