Is Online Betting Legal in India?
For the majority of people, online betting in India is not legal. In fact, the only state to allow gambling online is Sikkim, and online gambling is still very much underdeveloped in this state.
There’s no need to worry though. While it’s not legal for online gambling sites to operate in India, it is perfectly legal for gambling fans to place bets at offshore sites. Some of the world’s biggest names offer Indians the chance to bet on sports - including online legal cricket betting – and play casino games, poker, roulette and more.
There’s a huge market for online gambling in India with plenty of untapped potential, but despite this, laws seem to be entrenched in most parts of the country, with little chance of changing anytime soon.
Betting Laws in India
The Public Gaming Act of 1867 is the main piece of legislation covering the legality of gambling throughout the country. In this legislation, residents of India are prohibited from running a public gaming house or frequenting a public gaming house. The interpretation of this also means that online gaming houses based in India are also prohibited. According to the act:
“Gambling includes any activity or undertaking whose determination is controlled or influenced by chance or accident or any activity or undertaking which is entered into or undertaken with consciousness of the risk of winning or losing.”
Nowadays though, state governments have lots of sway regarding the betting laws in India. Online casinos, sports betting and poker are all regulated on a state level, regardless of whether the gambling pursuit takes place online or offline.
Here are the laws surrounding specific forms of gambling in the country:
These are legal and are regulated under the Lotteries (Regulation) Act 1988.
Land-based casino gambling is legal in Sikkim, Goa and Daman. It is illegal in all other states.
Only Sikkim offers legal online gambling, however it’s not illegal to play at an offshore gambling site.
Sports betting is massively popular; however, it is illegal and unregulated throughout the country. Horserace betting, in some circumstances, is legal.
Where in India is Betting Legal?
There are three states in India offering legal gambling. They are:
Goa offers a number of floating casinos. According to the Goa, Daman and Diu Public Gambling Act, 1976, casinos can legally be set up in five-star hotels and on offshore vessels.
There is one land-based casino in Daman, which is legal under the terms of the Goa, Daman and Diu Public Gambling Act, 1976.
The state of Sikkim is one of the more liberal states in terms of gambling and it offers the chance to play in two land-based casinos.
Please remember that the above information applies to land-based gambling only. With the exception of Sikkim, there are no states in India that currently authorise online gambling at a site located within India, but anyone, regardless of their state, can play at offshore gambling sites.
Legal Gambling Age in India
The legal gambling age in India for most forms of gambling is 21. The most noticeable exception to this is lotteries, which can sometimes be played by those aged 18 or over. When compared to the rest of the world, the Indian minimum gambling age is rather high with adults aged 18 in certain European countries and American states permitted to gamble in casinos and legally bet on sports.
Changes to Betting Laws in India
In recent times, there has been very little change in the laws and legislation surrounding betting. The most recent piece of legislation that could have affected gambling was the Information Technology Act 2000, however it failed to mention online gambling in any way. Since this legislation, the issue of online gambling has been consistently ignored by the Courts.
We believe there’s little chance of big changes in the Indian gambling landscape happening anytime soon. We will, however, ensure you’re kept updated if any changes do occur to the gambling laws in India.