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India is a country that loves gambling, and that love didn't just start recently. The earliest traces of gambling were discovered in the Ramayana, one of India's two great Sanskrit epics, and it is thought by archaeologists to date back to 7300 BC.
Over time, India's gambling industry has witnessed significant growth, making the country not left behind in the fierce competition of international gambling. Today, although many Indians openly oppose gambling, the number of gamblers from the country still increased from 20 million in 2010 to 250 million in 2018. Besides, experts predict the total value of the gambling industry in India could reach $400 million by 2025, making gambling one of the country's strong economic forces.
In today's article, we will introduce you to every aspect of Indian gambling. We will begin by studying gambling culture, its history, legal situation, and guidelines to help Indian players gamble more safely. Now, we shall start.
Gambling Culture and History in India
As noted above, the first acts of gambling in India were recorded in ancient Hindu mythology and literature. They say that ancient Indians used gambling to resolve community conflicts or make friends with each other.
Between 2000 BC and 1500 BC, many Indian rulers used their precious jewels to bet on games of dice. The original dice found by archaeologists were made of nuts from the Vibhitaka tree. These rulers believed that gambling was a perfect way to keep their minds clear and alert.
A few centuries later, gambling was gradually accepted by the people of India as a recreational activity passed down by their ancestors. Among the sports that are allowed to bet on, horse racing is the most loved by Indians. The reason was that human-to-human combat sports were not widespread at that time, and the horse was very close to people's daily agricultural activities.
By the 15th century, sports activities and games were perfected and better organized. People are starting to pay more attention to online casinos. Under such circumstances, the King of India has legalized these forms of gambling to facilitate bettors, on the basis that the King can earn a portion of the profits. As a result, gambling in India flourished like never before, and gambling games from India that are popular today were successively invented during this period.
Three centuries later, the Europeans landed in India, and they introduced the indigenous people to Cricket. Cricket was quickly embraced here and it became a national sport almost immediately. Many people are willing to risk thousands of rupees on their favorite Cricket team in hopes of making big money. However, with the tense political situation in the late 18th century, betting on horse races, Rummy, and Lottery began to encounter certain restrictions.
Even so, it is not enough for Indians to give up their passion for gambling. Gambling began to move beyond the premises of the bookmaker retail and into every corner and home. People even bet with larger amounts when the rules are established.
By the early 20th century, the gambling addiction of Indians had begun to have negative consequences on their economy. The government immediately recognized this, and they started to adopt gambling restrictions as a solution to remedy the situation. The Public Gambling Act was enacted in 1867, and it made games of chance illegal. However, it also says that states have the power to regulate gambling according to their own standards. Even so, there are only a few states that agree to this and set up casinos where players can legally gamble, for the rest, they are simply against it.
So far, there has been no significant change in the overall situation of the gambling industry in India. However, the government's incomplete control has allowed people to find many different ways to maintain their gambling passion.
The Current Gambling Situation in India
Although it cannot be compared with countries like China, the United States of America, or Australia in terms of the spread of gambling, India has great potential for the growth of this industry with its large number of players and its long history. However, the obstacle that Indian gambling needs to overcome to become a gambling powerhouse is its complicated legislation. Specifically, strict and not clear gambling regulations have made most domestic casinos and gambling operators ineligible to set up and operate online gaming sites.
In that situation, offshore online casino have shown their effectiveness when it meets the entertainment needs of the people. Players from India can easily access platforms to play their favorite gambling games and bet on the casino games of their interest.
However, that leads to a consequence that Indians have a lot of difficulty in finding online casinos that are safe and reputable enough to play when scam platforms are appearing rampant on the Internet. So, people need accurate and transparent review sites to moderate these platforms before investing money in them, and CasinoMentor is one of them.
Currently, in India, profits from gambling are being heavily distributed to companies based abroad. Therefore, we hope that the legislators will be more flexible in their policies to facilitate the casino operators in the country. From there, the country can benefit more from gambling and promote the gambling industry to develop further in the future.
Real Money Online Gambling in India
If you want to involve in Indian online casinos, you must equip yourself with the proper knowledge about Indian gambling laws and legislation. The following section is dedicated to such purposes. Let's find out everything you need to know about online gambling in India, such as permitted gambling types, regulators, and advertising restrictions.
First and foremost, let's see gambling can exist in which digital form and who are the regulators of these forms with the infographic below.
The Indian States have been assigned the power to frame State-specific laws on betting and gambling under the Constitution of India. Certain states of India have adopted the Public Gambling Act, 1867 (Public Gambling Act), while other states have enacted their own legislation to regulate/prohibit gaming/gambling activities within their territory under the Gaming Enactments.
The State of Sikkim has enacted a licensing regime for online games and sports games through the intranet within the State of Sikkim under the Sikkim Act and Sikkim Online Gaming Regulation Rules, 2009.
The State of Nagaland has enacted a licensing regime for online games of skill under the Nagaland Act and the Nagaland Prohibition of Gambling and Promotion and Regulation of Online Games of Skill Rules, 2016.
In Telangana, the Telangana Gaming Act, 1974, was recently amended to delete the exception for games of skill from the Act. Or in other words, games of skill cannot be offered in this state.
Gaming Activities Restrictions
Certain other laws that would apply to gaming activities are discussed in the section below.
Casino Games are categorized as betting and gambling activities, so they are banned under most Gaming Enactments.
Certain states that have enacted licensing regimes for casino games are:
Goa, Daman, and Diu
Casino games, including roulette, blackjack, and casino brag, are only offered within the intranet of the State of Sikkim.
Under most Gaming Enactments, poker is considered a game of skill permitted in most India States. The Gaming Enactments who have recognized poker as a game of skill are:
The State of West Bengal
The Nagaland Acts
The Karnataka High Court
Bingo can be treated as a lottery or a game of chance, depending on the format of bingo. Games of chances are interdicted in most Indian states.
Betting on games of chance is prohibited in most Indian states. Only the State of Sikkim permits sports betting, so if you are an operator who wants to offer such games, you need to gain a license under the Sikkim Act. Moreover, such games are offered through the intranet within the State of Sikkim only.
Fantasy Betting is offered online in the State of Nagaland, and a license is required.
Physical lotteries are regulated by some states, including Sikkim. Moreover, they are banned in some states and only offered online in some states.
Private lotteries are prohibited, according to section 294 A of the IPC.
Social Gaming is not considered to be gambling under the Gaming Enactments. Depending on the format of the game, certain laws could be triggered, such as intellectual property laws.
Games of skill are exempted from the prohibitions under most Gaming Enactments. Online versions of such games are regulated by Nagaland Act.
Promotion and Advertising Restrictions
The printing, publishing, selling, distributing, or circulating in any manner such as newspaper, news sheet, or other information with the intention of aiding or facilitating gambling are prohibited. However, as stated above, games of skill are exempted from these restrictions.
Lottery advertisements are banned unless they comply with the Lottery Laws.
The advertising of prize competitions is prohibited if it is not authorized by the relevant authority.
Gaming websites in India and gambling websites in Sikkim and Nagaland are subject to content-related laws. For example, penalties are placed on obscene content, misleading advertisements, violations of trademarks, copyrights, design rights, patent rights, etc.
It is the responsibility of the Telecom Commercial Communications Customer Preference Regulations to regulate advertising gambling.
Telemarketing can only be carried out by operators that have held a license from the Telecom Regulatory Authority of India.
A self-regulatory code binding on the television/broadcasting industry has been released by the Advertising Standards Council of India (ASCI). The code prohibits the propagation of products, and the use of which is banned under the law.
For operators located outside India:
Under the Gaming Enactments, the PCA, and the Lottery Laws: Enforcement against foreign operators would be a challenge.
Under the IT Act: websites offered by foreign operators may be blocked by Indian Governmental authorities and courts.
Under FEMA (Foreign Exchange Management Act): Gambling-related outward remittances are prohibited by FEMA and the Current Account Rules. Accordingly, FEMA applies to outward remittances to offshore gaming operators.
Under the PMLA (Prevention of Money Laundering Act): Entities incorporated or established abroad should not be covered as reporting entities.
Under the PSS Act (Payment and Settlement Systems Act): Foreign payment providers are not included in the licensing regime for payment systems under the PSS Act when they provide services in relation to offshore merchants.
Gambling debts are not enforceable in India. Under Section 30 of the Indian Contract Act, 1872, wagering contracts are void and cannot be enforced.
How to Choose the Best Online Casinos for Indian
If you’re not up for a visit to the rowdy casinos of Goa or Sikkim, we have an alternative for all gamblers in India. We understand the challenge of finding casinos that offer an authentic experience in the comfort and privacy of your own home. Rigorous testing coupled with 15 years of casino reviewing brings all casino enthusiasts the best Indian sites to play on.
You do not need to spend a round trip to Goa or Sikkim; you can play at the best online casinos in India. Finding the casino that accepts Indian players is an easy task, but finding ones with the best Welcome Bonuses, Casino Games, Payments, and Support, is never simple. The best online casinos should be able to pass our trustworthiness and quality tests.
Our top casinos for Indian players offer:
Welcome Bonuses - Indian players should be able to claim the bonus offers, either in no deposit or match bonus. Also, they should be in Indian Rupees with clear terms and conditions.
Customer Service - Our top-ranked casinos should have a responsive Customer Service team who speaks Hindi and are available around the clock. More than that, customer support should have various contact methods such as Email, Live chat, FAQs, and Telephone.
Security - Online casinos in India should be protected by trusted gambling licensing bodies such as Malta Gambling Authority, Curacao, and UKGC. Players playing at these licensed sites will be protected. More than that, SSL protection should be implemented to ensure the most state-of-the-art encryption software for data safety and security. Games at these casinos should be audited by third-party software, and the game outcomes must be controlled by Number Random Generator.
Banking Methods - There should be various deposit and withdrawal options for you to choose from, but all these methods should accept Indian Rupees as an official currency.
Game Variety - Like we mentioned, apart from traditional casino games such as slots, roulette, and blackjack, the casinos must be able to provide all popular local games.
Mobile Sites - Playing at mobile casinos has become a trend in India and around the world. A reliable and secure mobile platform should help the casino rank well on the list.
Gambling laws in India are a bit confusing, poorly written, and haphazardly enforced. Even so, millions of Indians still access casino games, sportsbooks, and poker rooms every day. A piece of advice is to look into the laws in your jurisdiction regarding online gambling before making bets with real money, or carrying out your gambling promotion.
To equip you with everything you need to know about Indian online gambling, besides laws and regulations, we also provide a detailed list of the best online casinos in India, as well as how to find them. If you are concerned about other gambling segments of the industry, you can head to our website Casinomentor.com to read online casino reviews, casino game reviews and find out the best online casino bonuses.