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Gambling laws in India – #1 Complete Gambling Guide

We can’t call India a developed nation, it is still growing and on the verge of becoming one. Though gambling has been a part of rich Indian culture since ancient times. But talking about the current scenario, the gambling laws in India are some 150 years old which needs to be improvised.

Gambling is accepted equally in both traditional and modern avatars. Traditional gambling refers to the brick-and-mortar casinos whereas modern gambling involves the internet, Smartphones, laptops, etc.

The internet and advanced technology have brought a huge revolution to the online gambling industry. Gambling has become a rich source of entertainment and even some of the professionals are earning huge profits by taking gambling as a profession.

There are many online casinos available that can be accessed not only on desktops but also on smartphones and tablets. It’s always better to know the gambling laws of your respective country before you start the real game. At Proindiancasinos.como, we’ll discuss the gambling laws of India in easy to understand approach and format. Let’s start!

Different Gambling Laws in India 2021

Gambling is defined as a game of chance or game of skill but gambling legislation in India has excluded game of skill from its gaming purview. Gambling laws in India comprise of the laws which are in effect throughout India’s all states, union territories, and the separate laws and regulations that different states can have individually. Each state doesn’t need to have the same gambling

Delhi Laws

Maharashtra Laws

West Bengal Laws

Uttar Pradesh Laws

Karnataka Laws

Tamil Nadu Laws

The Public Gambling Act, 1867

This is the general gambling law in India considered mainly as public gaming act. It consists of relevant authorities and legislation, license application & restrictions, digital media, etc. PGA 1867 is effective throughout India but states are independent of imposing any other gambling laws if needed. Take a look at what the law says:

  • Betting and gambling are listed in Entry 34 of the State List (i.e., List II of the Seventh Schedule). That means the state can amend any changes.
  • Taxation of betting and gambling are listed in Entry 62, which means the state legislature has full power to make/ break laws.
  • Lotteries are listed in Entry 40( List 1 of the Union List) which means only the Parliament of India has the right to decide laws regarding lotteries.

Online gambling was never in the scenario in the old age public gaming act.  So, it is possible to enjoy online casino games without worrying that they are legal or illegal. You can play many casino games like slots, poker, lottery, tennis betting, cricket betting and much more!

Is Gambling Legal in India?

India is a diverse country. There is no straight answer to this question as it depends on the game and location. Gambling is legal in some parts of India like Goa, Sikkim, etc. whereas for other states it is completely banned and illegal. You can be fined and jailed if found betting.

The primary focus of gambling legislation is gaming and common gaming houses ( traditional brick- mortar casinos). However, it is not stated anywhere in the Indian gambling act that it is illegal to play at online casino sites. So it hardly makes any difference as all the foreign casino sites are approachable to Indian players.

The gambling act clearly differentiates between games of skill and games of chance as can be seen in the table below:

Games of skill Games of chance
Rummy, Bridge, Poker Slot games
Chess, Carom RNG-table games
Horse Racing Blackjack
Golf, Darts Roulette
Fantasy Sports Baccarat

It is legal to participate in all the skill-based games if regulated appropriately whereas it is illegal to play chance-based games such s roulette, baccarat, RNG table games, etc.

Exceptions are always there as both categories of games i.e. game of chance and skill are 100% legal to play in locations like Goa, Sikkim, Dadra, Nagar haveli, and Daman &Diu.

Classification of India’s gaming industry

Different states have different gambling laws in India. But, don’t worry it’s not that complex as it seems to be. You just have to get a brief of the laws of the state you are playing at. The gaming industry of India consists of regulated and unregulated gaming. It can be broadly classified into 6 categories. Take a look!

  1. Lotteries:  This game has been defined under the lottery act 1988. The lottery is a scheme in which people can participate by purchasing a ticket to win cash prizes or other goods. The lottery is completely banned in Madhya Pradesh.
  2. Sports Betting:  The legal status of this game is still foggy. As in some states, it’s legal and in other it is unregulated. For an instance, Sports betting is legal in Sikkim.
  3. Games of chance: Casino games such as baccarat, blackjack, roulette, etc. fall into this category. You’ll find such games only in Goa and Sikkim as a private license is required to offer these games.
  4. Games of Skill: These games are excluded from the ambit of gambling in mostly all of the states except Assam, Odisha, and Telangana. Poker, rummy, Sudoku, etc. are referred to as games of skill.
  5. Prize competitions: Defined under PCA 1955, it includes the crossword, missing word, a picture prize competition, or any other puzzle-based competitions based on letters, arrangements, combinations, etc.
  6. Horse racing:  A license by the state government is required to regulate horse racing. There are mainly 6 turf clubs in India; Calcutta, madras, Bangalore, Delhi, Hyderabad, and western India.

State gambling laws & regulations 

In India, there are 28 states and 9 UT’s. It is mandatory for all the states and Union territories in India to abide by the laws of the PGA act 1867. But the state’s legislative are given the authority to impose new laws that will be valid within their own territory only.

Like, gambling is completely restricted in states like Assam and Odisha as there are chances of some criminal activities due to diversity in the population. Whereas, Goa and Sikkim have taken the initiative to make sports betting totally legal in land-based as well as online casinos. Let’s check the perspective of individual states!

  • Maharashtra: To offer casino games, the provider must own a private license.Other games such as lottery, rummy, horse racing are legal.
  • Telangana: This state follows a zero-tolerance approach against gambling, no gambling activity is allowed whether land-based or online under the prevention of gambling act (1970).
  • Meghalaya: bets can be placed on Teer and horse racing if the provider has a private license. Else all gambling activities are prohibited.
  • New Delhi:It’s completely legal to play at all the offshore online casinos like Pure casino.  This state has implied its own set of rules/laws.
  • Karnataka:Gambling is regulated by both the Karnataka police act 1963 and the public gaming act 1976. All the land-based casinos are banned whereas it is legal to play games like poker, rummy, and horse racing.
  • Sikkim:The best state to play all the casino games like baccarat, roulette, blackjack, RNG tables, etc. All the casino games are regulated under the Sikkim casino act. The only state where sports betting is totally legal.
  • Rajasthan:gambling is an offense in both land-based and online casinos.
  • UT’s (Goa, Dadra, and Nagar Haveli and Daman and Diu): All the casino games are legal to play if the owners have a private license under Public gaming act 1976. You can find slot games and table games at ships and high facility hotels.
  • Odisha & Assam: No gambling activity is allowed in both the states except horse race betting.
  • Tamil Nadu: It’s an offense to play games that uses money except horse racing as that is considered a game of skill.
  • Nagaland: The only state where a license is required to regulate games of skill. All the virtual sports, poker, chess, rummy are operated under the Nagaland act of gambling.

Online Gambling Laws & It Act 2000

Gambling is not an offense and there are no such laws mentioned in 150-year-old Indian gambling law that states it is illegal to play in online casinos. So, the good news is it is completely legal to play online casino games.

Many of the gambling states like Punjab, Madhya Pradesh, and UP still follow PGA 1867 act, while other states like Odisha, Maharashtra, Delhi and, Sikkim have executed their own laws that regulate gambling into their own territory.\

Now, talking about IT act 2000, it regulates and maintains cyber activities in India. It aims to protect users from suspicious digital activities that may damage them. Under this act, an internet service provider (ISP) has the right to block such foreign operators.

The other hurdle faced by punters in India is to find a convenient payment method. Users have to transfer money to online bookies using Neteller, Skrill and that too is not guaranteed that the transaction will be successful. To get rid of this the regular users have started using E-wallets like Google payPayTm, etc. to avoid any legal issues.

Foreign Online Casino Sites

All thanks to the internet and advanced technology that Indian users can access all their favorite casino sites. Gambling in India has gained momentum in the past few years, so watching the Indian traffic many foreign sites have especially enhanced their versions that include Indian classic games to drive more Indian players on their sites.

You can visit our recommended list of best foreign online casino sites. We guarantee you’ll not regret it as all the sites use RNG technology to conduct fair and unbiased game sessions!

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Legal Game Providers in India

All the casino game providers are authorized and legal authorities that ensure safety as well as unbiased gameplays. No doubt they are all located offshores but it is completely legal to avail of their services while sitting at any corner of the world.

Many trusted and reputed organizations such as eCOGRA and iTechLAbs keep conducting regular audits and inspections to make sure there are no such issues as money laundering, frauds, or rigged casinos. Let’s discuss the top 3 gaming authorities worldwide!

NetEnt

NetEnt, licensed by Malta gaming authority; is known as a pioneer of casino gaming providers. They provide exclusive gaming solutions to the world’s leading casino operators. Indian users are allowed to access all the games provided by NetEnt. You’ll find many games like Slots, jackpot games, and live casino tables.

Evolution Gaming

Just make a wish and evolution gaming will make it true. Evolution Gaming is the favorite destination for almost all players worldwide. This company also holds a license from MGA. They are known best for their unlimited casino gaming options like blackjack tables, baccarat, Bollywood live roulette, and much more.

Ezugi

Ezugi is another competitor known for its customizable platform. Their optimized software allows you to access the games on smartphones, desktops, or Tablets. You’ll find Indian classic games such as Andar Bahar, Teen Patti on their platform. They aim to become a leading live dealer provider across the casino industry.

Conclusion

Gambling laws in India are confusing, isn’t it? One can’t understand easily at first glance that it’s legal or unregulated to play casino games. It has been a subject of debate and the judiciary has tried many times to get a single solution. However, the internet with advanced technology brought a big revolution in the online gambling industry.

You’ll be amazed to know that India is a great hub for gambling and the economic value of the Indian gambling industry is worth about US$60 billion. It includes sports betting, horse racing, lotteries, games of skill, the game of chance, and many other prize competitions.

So we always advise our viewers to get a brief knowledge about the legal terms and conditions of your selected casino (land-based or online) to avoid any unwanted legal conflicts!