Indians are into card games and betting on animal fights and races since the time immemorial. Gambling has always been a favourite pass time for Indian riches and not-so-rich Indian population. In recent years, that love affair has got a new medium to embrace. Particularly with the COVID-19 pandemic limiting everyone to their homes, people have started indulging in online casinos and betting like never before.
However, one question has never ceased coming up in casino loving Indians’ minds – is it legal to play online casinos using cash in India? Can Indians legitimately claim cash prizes in online casino games?
Are Online Casinos Legal in India?
Currently, the legal legitimacy of online gambling and casino games in India is ambiguous. Lotteries, slots, horse racing, games of skill – rules remain largely unclear for all. Online casinos in India are booming for the fun, excitement, privacy and security they offer from the comfort of home. However, many authorities and legal experts believe that gambling can promote money laundering, fraud, and other socio-economic vices. It is why several state jurisdictions have sanctioned strict laws covering gambling as a broad activity without considering gaming nuances.
As a growing community hub for Indian casino-lovers, https://www.luckyraja.com understands this lack of legal clarity and always help people know more about casinos that payout people legitimately, and operate within legal legitimacy. The site regularly publishes news on free cash giveaways by online gaming websites, in-depth casino reviews and rating updated on online casino websites. The players’ forums within LuckyRaja provide first-hand knowledge about gamers’ positive experiences and grievances, such as unfair games, late payouts, or shoddy business practices.
“Before playing at online gambling sites from India, the only thing people need to consider is if they currently live in a state that bans online gambling activities. Otherwise, they have the legal right to play at an online casino.” – Suganthi, Project manager at LuckyRaja.com.
Being a federal state, India is governed by various laws adopted by the Indian central govt and by different states. In general, the major laws and acts that authorities take into account for regulating Indian gambling sites:
The Public Gambling Act of 1867 – This law predates the internet, tech advancements and online gaming in India and has applicability to regulate even games using dice (example, ludo), cards, and other gaming instruments. Any type of venues (typically a walled enclosure) which host such games are also banned by this law.
The Prize Competition Act of 1955
It can regulate and prohibit any game, even, with a meagre prize of Rs. 1,000/-. It came into existence in 1955 and took into account the monetary value of Indian currency of that period. Also, it does differentiate between slots and lotteries from rummy, poker and blackjack.
The Information Technology Act of 2000
The IT Act focuses more on the kind of language used on online platforms, users resorting to activities with malicious intent, and others.
The Legality Of Gambling Across India
Goa, Sikkim, and Daman
The Goa Gaming Act of 1976 extends to all online casinos in India, including roulette, blackjack, slots, and other casino games. Goa is deliberately trying to persuade forces to legalise gambling in the entire country.
Sikkim is the first state to allow and operate land-based casinos, Indian gambling sites, and sports betting sites with the laws taking effect from 2008. It allows horse racing and online lottery entirely.
Daman has the most significant number of brick-and-mortar casinos in the country.
As per the Nagaland Online Games of Skill Act of 2006, it is legal to play games requiring human skill, such as poker and even fantasy games. Casino operators can advertise their business in the state.
Other states with partial legalisation: West Bengal, Maharashtra, Tamil Nadu, Telangana
Assam, Orissa, and other states: Gambling is prohibited per se, irrespective of the medium – online or offline.
Offshore-Hosted Online Casinos in India
International gambling sites which accept Indian players are legitimate alternatives to real-world casinos. India’s lack of clarity on gambling regulations has caused online casinos with real money operations to shift offshore. These casinos accept deposits and make payouts in Indian rupees.
What are the experts saying about the Future of Online Gambling in India?
The High Courts of several states, including Punjab, Haryana, Rajasthan, Tamil Nadu, Maharashtra have ruled in favour of players using Indian gambling sites with real money. Even the Supreme Court of India verdicts that games of skill are permitted and legal.
There is a serious need to reform the existing laws and ensure that Indian consumers’ data and the profits earned from the Indian players are kept within India. With secure platforms such as Dream11, and Paytm First Games coming up, it is legitimate to allow people of legal age to enter the world of online gambling.
Extending the legality to all casino games means an immense economic value and financial implications. Other benefits include employment opportunities, business opportunities, and the country’s self-reliance regarding online casino games to win real money.
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