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Gambling in India - Things to Know

India is known as one of the most crowded countries in the world, with a population of almost 1.4 billion. As affected by British culture, the gambling industry blooms in this country. Hence, many online operators are aiming to develop their products in this country.

Interestingly, not all the states in India are open to gambling. Some are very strict and do not allow any form of gambling except lotteries and horse racing. As such, gambling-lover should visit Goa, Daman, and Sikkim to satisfy their passion. This article aims to give you everything you need to know about online gambling in India, as well as all the best Indian online casinos in 2021. Keep going!

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.

online casino indian

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.

online gambling laws in India online gambling laws in India 1

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

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
  • Sikkim

Casino games, including roulette, blackjack, and casino brag, are only offered within the intranet of the State of Sikkim.

Poker

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

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

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

Fantasy Betting is offered online in the State of Nagaland, and a license is required.

Lotteries

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

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.

Skill Games

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.

Online/Mobile/Digital/Electronic Media

For operators located outside India:

  1. Under the Gaming Enactments, the PCA, and the Lottery Laws: Enforcement against foreign operators would be a challenge.
  2. Under the IT Act: websites offered by foreign operators may be blocked by Indian Governmental authorities and courts.
  3. 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.
  4. Under the PMLA (Prevention of Money Laundering Act): Entities incorporated or established abroad should not be covered as reporting entities.
  5. 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, Telephone.

Security - Online casinos in India should be protected by trusted gambling licensing bodies such as Malta Gambling Authority, Curacao, 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.

In Brief...

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.