Are online casinos in India legal? Are people allowed to engage in online gambling? How are online casinos in India regulated? The truth is that online gambling in India is a very complicated and tricky subject. Even though there are millions of players who flock to online gambling platforms every day, there’s still a lot that people don’t understand about the online gambling regulations and rules in India. If you’re curious to find out more about online gambling in India, you will find everything that you need here in this article.
A Brief History of Online Gambling in India
Whether it be online slot games, poker tournaments, or blackjack games, there are many people in India who engage in online gambling on a daily basis. It’s been reported that the gambling market in India is estimated to be around $60 billion. A huge chunk of that comes from online gambling. But where did it all start?
The first online casinos in the world started operating in the mid-90s. But it didn’t take a long time before India hopped on the trend too. This is especially true over the past decade or so. More and more Indians have been hopping onto offshore casino platforms and playing these games with real money for many years. But what a lot of people don’t realize is that the gambling industry as a whole is heavily regulated in India. In fact, there are only two states in India that are allowed to have physical casinos: Goa and Sikkim. But online gambling is a whole other territory.
Is Online Gambling in India Allowed Under Law?
The Information Technology Act that was passed in the year 2000 had specific provisions that prohibited publication of information online that could ‘corrupt’ people. This was interpreted by many to also include websites that contain gambling information. Given that, it was downright impossible for Indian casino operators to legally advertise their platforms on the internet without getting flagged by the government. However, there were no specific provisions that explicitly barred people from placing bets over the internet. Specifically speaking, the act of gambling in itself wasn’t mentioned or banned at all.
Another piece of legislation called the Federal Information Technology Act that was passed in 2011 featured more explicit provisions that prohibited online gambling activities in the country. These provisions sought to penalize internet service providers for failing to block foreign betting websites. However, like the Information Technology Act of 2000, this particular act didn’t feature any specific provisions that restricted Indian people from availing the services of third-party betting operators in order to gamble online. It was possible for Indian gamblers to deposit their money online through e-wallets like Neteller and Skrill and then connect these accounts to the betting operators. It was a way to work around the provisions that were laid out in the two mentioned Acts.
What Does that Mean for the Player?
Ultimately, a lot of the online gambling laws in India remain to be very ambiguous and unclear. There are a lot of offshore gambling sites that have managed to recruit Indian players onto their platforms through these third-party betting operators and e-wallets. However, despite all of the ambiguity in the legislation surrounding casino operators in India, one thing is for certain: it is not illegal to access online gambling platforms while in India just as long as these platforms are operated overseas.
So, if you’re an avid gambler in India and you make use of online platforms to place your bets, you should be safe. Just make sure that you do your research first on the most reputable online gambling sites and you’ll be just fine.