Is Online Gambling Legal in India?

Home » Is Online Gambling Legal in India?

Guide to Legal Gambling Regulations in India

Gambling is not a new concept in India. It has been wedged into the country’s history for a very long time, with references being made in Ramayana; a Sanskrit Epic, dating back to 430 BC. This is not the only reference made to gambling in India’s history and therefore due to this, some people even consider it to be part of the culture and tradition of the country, and rightly so.

Laws around gambling in India could already be found back to the 15th century. During the British Colonial Period in India, which dates back to 1752, we can also see the impact of sports in the Indian culture which later also brought about the concept of Sports betting in this country.

Is gambling legal in India?

Fast forward to the present times, officially, gambling in India, is not legal as per the Public Gambling Act of 1867. However, each state is free to decide on the laws it wants to put in place around offline gambling and online gambling.

Let’s have a look at the online gaming laws, in India starting off with the foundation of gambling law which is The Public Gambling Act.

The Public Gambling Act 1867 review

The Public Gambling Act came out in 1867 and considering that this law was written over 150 years ago, one can right away figure that this holds many loopholes in today’s world especially in the world of online casinos and online gambling for Indian players.

This law prohibits the act of visiting gaming houses and running or managing these gaming houses. The term “gaming house” is set to refer to any building or place where tools or accessories used for gaming such as dice, cards, gaming tables are used to make a profit by the owner and/or manager of that building or place.

If we had to drill deeper into the term “gaming” we would understand that this term stands for “betting” or “staking” or “wagering” any amount of money with the intention to try to make a profit both from the owner of the “gaming house” and from any one visiting the “gaming house”.

This Act, does not condone Games of Skill, which are games, as one can deduce from the name, that require an element of skill to be played, and not luck or chance. Games such as Poker and Backgammon are classified as games of Skill. Craps is another type of game of skill.

As mentioned, this law nowadays has many loopholes which can be bypassed for all those players in India looking for an online casino; the biggest loophole being that the Public Gambling Act of 1867 is referring to a brick and mortar gaming house and not to an online entity.

Another loophole is that most online casinos are not based in India and therefore the law in India would have no jurisdiction over offshore online casinos.

From our end, we at CasinosIndiaOnline will always do our best to give you recommendations for the best online casinos for Indian players. For our top recommendations, visit our casino page here

Types of Gaming

We have defined the term “gaming” within The Public Gaming Act, let us now delve into different types of gaming in India:

1. Games of Skill
A Game of Skill is a Game that would require knowledge about the rules of the game itself as well as specific tactics and ways of playing related to the game itself. Games of Skill are known to be games such as Craps, Poker, Rummy, Chess, Blackjack.

2. Games of Chance
This is the opposite of a Game of Skill, where there is no skill required and the outcome is purely based on chance or luck. Known games of chance are roulette and slots as well as lotteries.

3. Lotteries
In 1998 the Lotteries Regulation Act came out that regulated lotteries in India. However in 2010 The Lotteries Regulation Rules came out bringing about further regulations including minimum prizes. This has brought about a series of state lotteries, however one might also want to explore the variety of online casinos for Indian players that also offer lotteries and lottery based games.

4. Horse racing
One might think that horse racing is a pure game of chance but one would be surprised to learn that it is also a game of skill. This is due to the fact that one requires knowledge about the horse itself, its weight, its age, its years of racing, length etc as well as knowledge about the jockey to be able to find the winning combo.

5. Sports betting
Sports betting, with a difference to horse racing has been labelled as a game of chance and is therefore illegal as per the Public Gaming Act of 1867.

The state of Sikkim issued the Sikkim Online Gaming (Regulation) Act 2008, legalising sports betting, making it one of two states in India that legalised sports betting. We will however go into more detail about this in our state-by state review.

Offshore Online Casinos

Offshore Online casinos accepting Indian players are becoming increasingly vast. Below we have listed our preferred choice of online casinos for India where players can gamble using real money.

Our choices are based on the reputation, responsible gambling procedures as well as player experience of each of these online casinos.
This way you, as a player can feel safe playing online with real money whilst ensuring that you also have a pleasant and fun experience. Visit our casino page here to find the best rated casinos for Indian players.