The Legality of Gambling in India

The topic of gambling in India is one that has no definite status. It can’t be regarded as being absolutely illegal or legal. Currently, it’s somewhere in the middle of both. This text briefly explains the basic facts you need to know about the legality of gambling in India, though there’s a great variety of facts to consider when discussing the legality of gambling because of the legal and moral concerns attached to gambling activities in India. Gambling is regulated at both the Federal level and the State level in India.

Federal level

When looking at the Federal level in India, the Public Gaming Act of 1867 regards acts of gambling and betting as illegal as they’re labelled as games of chance under List II Entry 37 of the Indian Constitution. The Act permits only games which rely on skill (you should take into cognizance that this Act had been in existence before the coming of the internet and long before online casino gambling was a thing). Also, based on the Indian Information Technology Act of 2000, it was established that any information capable of corrupting persons was barred from being circulated; however, this Act was imprecise about gambling activities as it failed to refer to online gambling activities. Generally, to determine the legality at the Federal level would require going into detail about things like whether a skill is made use of in gambling though the status quo seems to discourage gambling.

State level

Various forms of gambling are permitted in only 4 Indian states, namely: Goa, Sikkim, Daman as well as Nagaland. In the State of Goa, there are legal land-based and floating casinos which freely operate. In the State of Sikkim, land-based and on-shore live gambling is permitted. Though as regards online casino, Sikkim had tried to put three licences for online casinos on auction, but as a result of small interest, dismissed this possibility. Ever since then, there’s not been much talk about making online casinos legal. In the State of Daman, there are on-shore casinos where casino gambling is legal. As for the residents in the State of Nagaland, they are free to patronize the recently licensed online poker operators.

Online Gambling

On the legality of online gambling in India, there are no permitted domestic online gambling sites in India; however, no laws prohibit players resident in India from registering with international online casinos. Therefore, Indian residents are free to register with offshore online casinos.

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