India is a big country and the gambling culture there is unlike anywhere else. No other country is home to so many people that love to gamble and win cash. Now, the country is seen as the world’s largest and fastest-growing online gambling market. Still, there is a lot of confusion among the people over the legality of online gambling in the country.
Online gambling: legal or illegal?
Such confusion among the people is no surprise given the lack of clear rules in the country regarding online gambling, including those who might be using websites such. Gambling in India is primarily governed by the Public Gaming Act of 1867.
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This over 100 year-old act, however, makes no reference to online gambling. It is no surprise, considering the internet was not even in existence when this act came out. One can argue that the wording of the act bars anyone from operating a gambling website in India, but it is not very clear.
Another act that may be related to online betting and gaming is the Information Technology Act of 2000. This act mainly talks about online activities, but makes no special mention of online gambling or declaring online gambling illegal. However, the act does give the Indian government the power to block foreign websites.
In all, it wouldn’t be wrong to say that the answer to the question – is online gambling legal in India? – could be both yes and no.
However, online gambling in India has started to take baby steps when it comes to the legal scenario. At the state level, rules are being framed regarding online gambling. So far, only Sikkim and Nagaland have come up with laws favoring online gambling. Maharashtra, on the other hand, does not allow online gambling.
Going forward, we expect to see more clarity on laws governing online gambling, including online casino India.
How it affects users?
Talking of how it affects gambling website users, again, there is no clear answer. There are many major gambling sites that welcome Indian users. However, since these sites are operated from overseas, they do not come under Indian jurisdiction. But, this does not mean that using these sites from within India is legal.
Except for Maharashtra, there are no clear laws barring online gambling. Also, we have not heard of any cases where any Indian has been charged for gambling online. So, we don’t think you should worry too much, but you need to ensure that the gambling site you use is reputable and accepts Indian users.
A word of caution: making a non-rupee deposit to a gambling site could come under the Foreign Exchange Management Act (FEMA) 1999, and hence, should be avoided.