People are becoming increasingly familiar with online casinos. Due to the pandemic, millions of Indians were relegated to their homes, and many of them turned to online gambling in India. This way they can play online casino games to have fun and earn money without leaving their homes. Gambling has been around for a long time. The earliest forms of gambling were recorded in 2300 BC. As the world becomes more digitized, casinos have also adopted this trend in the form of live casinos. Let’s discuss the state of online gambling in India.
Is Online Gambling in India Legal?
Indian authorities have lobbied to ban online gambling in India over the years. But their attempts have been unsuccessful. Currently, there is no black and white answer to whether online gambling is legal or not. In India, authorities have placed many restrictions on gambling, as they believe it will promote fraud, money laundering, and other social and economic vices. While some argue that gambling is a revenue stream for the government, others are strictly against promoting what they consider unethical and immoral practices. Some lobbyists believe that regulation of online gambling will lead to more tax generation.
The complex betting environment in India is regulated by state jurisdictions that decide the laws under which gambling can be allowed or not.
Gambling in Goa
Goa’s authorities passed the Goa Gambling Act of 1976. It provides a license to online casinos to host games such as blackjack, roulette, slot machines, and more. The local government in Goa has also made efforts to legalize gambling in the whole country.
Indian government has also passed laws that impose certain restrictions on land-based casinos to ensure that they’re fair and transparent. For example, all casinos have to regularly test their equipment and follow the minimum age requirement for gambling.
Gambling in Sikkim
Sikkim was the first Indian state that legalized land-based casinos in 2008. Furthermore, Sikkim were also the first to provide a license to online casinos and online sports betting sites. However, the state hasn’t completely legalized online gambling, and only online lottery and horse racing are allowed.
The Other States in India
- Daman has the largest number of land-based casinos in India.
- Nagaland passed the Online Games of Skill Act in 2006, legalizing fantasy games. It’s also the first state to license online poker.
- West Bengal has legalized online gambling except for poker.
- Maharashtra has banned online gambling under the Bombay Wager Act but allows lottery and horse racing.
- Telangana has passed the Telangana Gaming Act of 1974, which bans all games of skill, chance, and gambling.
- Tamil Nadu has legalized horse race betting and is working to allow online casinos to operate as well.
- In Assam and Orissa, gambling, both online and offline, is prohibited.
Future of Online Gambling in India
Laws that prohibit online gambling in India are going through reforms. And many experts are hopeful for a positive outcome. Fantasy sports platforms are becoming popular in India, such as Dream11 and Paytm First Games. Thus, encouraging people to enter the online gambling world.
In several states such as Haryana, Punjab, Tamil Nadu, Rajasthan, and Maharashtra, the High Courts have ruled in favour of online gambling. People winning money online increases revenue and gives a boost to the country’s economy. There are also other benefits such as self-reliance, employment, business development, etc. India’s Supreme Court has also agreed that games of skill are legal in India.
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