Gambling is an activity that is enjoyed by people of all age groups due to its entertainment value. When it comes to India, gambling has been a part of the country’s culture for long enough. Even before the six-sided dice was invented, Indians were using the nuts of a tree to replicate what we know today as a dice. A popular game that stems from the Indian culture is called Mahabharata and that is among the first pieces of evidence showing Indians’ fondness of gambling.
With the advent of technologies, the gambling industry marched forward to reach its current level. Generally speaking, gambling is recognized to be a major source of income. It is not a secret that the Indian gambling market has always been whetting the appetite of many operators. That is quite unsurprising given the huge potential of the gaming industry in India. According to analyses in regards to the Indian market, the betting market in India could be worth $130 billion. Unfortunately, India is not the most gambling-friendly country in the world.
Legal Landscape in India
India is among those countries that adopted stringent rules regarding the gambling industry. If you are wondering what is the current situation with the regulation in Inida, you might be interested to know that the gambling industry is governed by the Public Gambling Act of 1867, Prize Competition Act of 1995, and the Information Technology Act of 2000. Almost all forms of gambling are banned by most of the states. Only horse racing betting is properly regulated as in 1996, the Supreme Court announced that it is a game of skill. It is important to mention that certain gambling activities are allowed only in Goa and Sikkim.
The state of Goa has regulated some gambling activities by enacting the so-called Goa Gambling Act in 1976. Under this act, playing card games is not an illegal activity assuming that it takes place at special offshore vessels. In addition to that, slot games are also allowed in five-star hotels under certain circumstances. The Sikkim Regulation of Gambling of 2005 lifted the ban on the gambling industry throughout Sikkim and authorized the State government to specify the areas where such gambling activities can be performed.
As far as online gambling is concerned, none of the aforementioned laws says something about it. According to some people, it is the Public Gambling Act of 1867 that prohibits online gambling, but the truth is that it is not explicitly stated what is perceived as “gambling”. Hence, a growing number of casino operators welcome players from India and even accept payments in their currency, and namely rupee.
More About the Laws
The Public Gaming Act of 1867 was passed even before the existence of online gambling in India. It states that running a gambling establishment or being into one is illegal and wrongdoers will be put in jail for some time in case they are caught. However, this law cannot target online gambling as it precedes it. It is interesting to mention that the law was amended two times but it still cannot be interpreted with regard to remote gambling.
Prize Competition Act of 1955 outlaws all forms of gaming in which the prize exceeds INR1,000. The Information Technology Act of 2000 is the latest piece of legislation in India that could be related to online gambling. Its text is quite vague, so it is extremely hard to tell whether it addresses online gambling or not. Currently, no resident of India has been penalized for participating in remote gambling activities.
Current State of the Gambling Industry in India
Obviously, India’s gaming laws are not only stringent but also unclear and haphazard. Currently, most forms of gambling are banned in India, but it does not mean that Indians comply with the restrictions. A growing number of people start placing bets at offshore gambling websites as these are convenient. Unfortunately, you can never be sure if you are playing at a reputable interactive casino or not due to the lack of adequate laws. We hope that India will change its approach towards the gambling industry and reap the fruits of its efforts in the near future.
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