Which Indian States Have Imposed The Gambling Ban And Why?

Akil Khan
by Akil Khan
November 28, 2023

The Indian gambling scene has seen a sudden increase in games such as online gaming, casino gambling, and horse racing. The lottery is one of the significant betting games gamblers play offline and online. However, online casino gambling showed increased growth during the pandemic. People play online games such as PUBG, Fortnite, lottery betting, cricket betting, and much more. Well, a few Indian states have imposed a ban on gambling because they are of the view that gambling (online and offline) negatively affects players. The games are addictive and deprive people of their hard-earned money.

A Quick Insight Into The Statistical Status of Gambling in India

These statistics are enough to show how fast the Indian gambling industry is growing. However, the recent announcement by the government has made it clear that casino gambling, online gaming, and horse racing will attract a flat taxation of 28%.

Whether it is a local or international betting site, the trends in gambling are changing every year. Hence, the government legalized gambling and asked the gambling sites to submit PAN cards and other legal documents. The iGaming world is becoming technologically advanced, with India becoming the second largest place for online and offline gambling. The only source of legalization and monitoring of the operations is to impose the right flat taxation system.

The Indian online gambling industry will double to $7.5 billion by 2028. The gambling industry will see in-app purchases, user base growth, and increased revenue through gambling ads. The ‘mid-core games will help the gambling industry to earn a large sum of money. 25% of the gamers are paid gambling users, which means they play casino games with real money. Moreover, 59% of the gamblers are male in this country, 41% are female, and the ones belonging to non-metropolitan cities are 66% in number.

Despite this rapid gambling growth, certain states in India are not in favor of gambling. Read further to learn why these states are imposing a ban.

A Quick Insight Into The Statistical Status of Gambling in India

Indian States Ban on Gambling: An Insight

India has the largest fantasy sports market, with 130 million users playing games on mobile devices and desktops. The country has 400 gaming firms and over 420 online gamers. The new statistics of the users who are gambling using real money in the country have grown to 50% by 2022.

Indian players download over 7.4 billion mobile games every year. The gambling sector is changing because of the increased deployment of advanced technologies such as AR, VR, AI, 3D designs, etc. Metaverse is also counted as the future of the online gambling industry in the country.

In 2021, three states allowed gambling in the special offline casino: Daman, Goa, and Sikkim. Andhra Pradesh and Telangana banned online gambling.

However, the ban arises due to the following reasons:

  • Unprotected authorization and legalization of casinos

  • No regulations by regulated authorities

  • A few players may be unaware of the risks of gambling that unauthorized and illegal casinos showcase.

  • Less to no returns on wins

  • Most casinos operate in the grey or shady zones

The Indian authorities tax offshore online gambling operators under new GST laws. Experts always advise checking for the casino’s review on the reputed sites. It helps gamblers learn more about casino operations in the country.

According to a recent survey, India is losing almost $140 million annually because of a less regulated online gambling market. Indian government taxes this sector for a game of chance or skill at 28%. Top firms and influencers endorse Many gambling apps on TV and social media platforms. People are downloading these gambling apps to make extra money. Pari Mobile Gaming and Dream 11 are sponsored by foreign sponsors, which have made the Indian government create strict norms. It will help curb financial losses and addiction among gamblers.

Indian States Ban on Gambling: An Insight

Which Indian States Have Imposed Strict Measures On Online Gambling?

Andhra Pradesh and Telangana are the first two states to enforce a ban on online gambling in 2021. However, a few more Indian states have joined this league too.

1. Tamil Nadu

The state has banned casino games such as poker, Rummy, and other forms of online gambling games. Tamil Nadu wants to create awareness about illegal gambling activities. The state government wants to make people aware of gambling addiction and how preventive steps can help save their health and money. Well, people are getting lured by these online websites to make money in minutes as small as INR 1000 while playing a 20-minute game. It increases the curiosity among the players, which becomes an addiction over time.

Suicides are increasing because of this increased casino gaming addiction and attraction towards online gambling games. The ban by the state government will throw away the illegal market operators. However, a few casinos are against the ban because they deem it against the law. After all, Rummy is a game of skill and is protected under Article 19 (1) (g) of the Indian constitution.

The increased financial losses of the players and the rising rate of suicides have made the state stick to its ban policy. Justice Chandru and his bench have imposed this legal ban on online gambling games in 2022. Even the rummy games offered by MPL and Dream 11 will also fall under this category. Tamil Nadu state, according to its gazette notification, states that people involved in any form of gambling, whether offline or online, can serve up to 3 years of jail term and have to pay almost INR 10 lakh as a fine.

2. Karnataka

This Indian state came up with its bans and legalizations to tighten its grip on online gambling activities. They do not favor the Central Government laws as they want to safeguard the interests of their people. Even Karnataka Home Minister Araga Jnanendra welcomed this year’s regulation that favored the state-wide ban on games of chance and skill.

Karnataka banned casino games involving real money irrespective of their bans being challenged in the high court by casino firms operating in India. Earlier in 2021, the state followed the steps of Andhra Pradesh and Telangana, which have applied the complete bans. It was to save the people of the state from gambling addiction.

Over time, the state has developed laws to safeguard its people’s interests. According to the Public Gaming Act of 1867, only 10 states banned casino games. Gambling is illegal, but Section 12 states that this ban is only imposed on games of chance, but the games of skills are exempted. Karnataka state is known for providing 20% of business to casino firms, and with this ban on mobile apps and websites, losses will surge.

3. Kerala

The state government has appealed before the Supreme Court bench to impose a ban on casino games to save its people from financial losses and addiction. The proceedings are still underway on the respective bans on games of chance and games of skill. Their plea banning casino games is pending in front of the Kerala High Court.

Recently, in Q2 of 2023, some light was thrown on the court proceedings, and Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan stated about the strict regulations to be imposed on Rummy. During this year’s Assembly proceedings, the CM talked about the financial losses that people are facing because of this increased online gambling addiction.

The Kerala High Court has stayed the ban on the game, which was amended in February 2021 as per Kerala Gaming Act,1960. This stay came after the gambling firms filed the writs against the Kerala Government’s ban on casino games, especially Rummy.

The government has taken a stand against these online games because people are taking mobile app loans to play them. Players are becoming emotionally drained and finally losing their hard-earned money.

4. Other States

Many other prominent states, including the capital of India, have tightened their grip on gambling firms and online casino games.

Gambling is a state issue in India, so the Public Gambling Act remains unaffected. States such as West Bengal, Delhi, Uttar Pradesh, Madhya Pradesh, etc., impose a complete ban on mobile casino games and other online gambling games. The states encourage the ban through a geo-blocking method on the player’s location. It will help gamblers avoid gambling addiction and financial losses.

Only the states such as Nagaland, Sikkim, Daman, Goa, and Meghalaya have specialized places to conduct gambling activities. People in these states still have access to gambling sites. These states offer table games and sports betting games.

Play Casino Games Responsibly!

Indian gamblers are more inclined to play mobile than offline games. However, the bans imposed by certain states have come as a blow to many gambling firms. It has impacted their operations, and they have slipped into losses. If you want to play casino games, always check out the expert casino guide sites for details on regulated and non-regulated casino websites.

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