In India, there are about 20 casinos. India’s largest gambling city, Goa, has a major share of about 16 casinos. Goa has six offshore gaming platforms that act as river casinos. They are moored over River Mandovi on luxury vessels. The remaining ten are land-based casinos in five-star hotels.
There is no law restricting gamblers from partaking in online gambling activities in India. There are no laws passed restricting online gambling and betting. These issues are still a grey area. However, not all players have access to a brick-and-mortar casino. Therefore, the online options are a great advantage.
The History of Gambling in India
Before colonization, India had subtle forms of gambling and betting. However, the Europeans introduced cricket which caught on in the 1720s. By the end of the century, cricket became a betting sport for Indians. The British then proceeded to introduce horse racing events.
Cricket games and horse racing events led to uncontrolled gambling. As such, the Public Gambling Act of 1867 came about.
The act made illegal all forms of operating gambling houses in India. If you were found guilty of operating a gambling house, you paid a fine of Rs. 200 and/or imprisonment. You were jailed for up to three months for this offense. This judgment is in place up to date.
Since then, the gambling laws in India have been rather stringent. There are still no legal casino providers allowed in most Indian states.
Online Gambling in India
The Public Gambling Act of India of 1867 is outdated. Unfortunately, it lacks clauses that include gambling and betting. The Information Technology Act of 2000 is also vague about gambling in India. States like Maharashtra prohibit all forms of online casinos and offline gambling venues.
As a result, many foreign-based betting and gambling sites accept Indian players. These sites have licenses from countries like Curacao. Since Indian laws do not govern these countries, Indians can play on their sites.
They offer traditional and Indian-inspired games like Teen Patti. In addition to this, there is a long list of international games like roulette, blackjack, poker, and slot games. Transactions are also made possible through Indian rupees. Popular e-wallet options PhonePe and Paytm are also available.
Alternatively, states like Goa and Sikkim have passed legislation and legalized gambling to a certain extent. You can find casinos and betting websites in both states. These platforms attract gamblers all over India.
Present Day Gambling Laws in India
The laws on the federal level consider gambling taboo or a sin, similar to the traditional Indian outlook. This has hindered a lot of developments from taking place in the country. There are 29 states and seven Union territories in India. All of them have the authority to decide whether to legalize gambling or not.
Since every state has a legislative council and a state government, they can draft laws as they wish. However, horse riding is popular in India, and betting goes on there.
States in India Where Online Gambling is Banned
In India, individual states have a say in whether an online casino can be established within their borders. While some like Goa permit gambling activity, the states below do not allow any form of casino gaming online:
- Andhra Pradesh
If you reside in any of the states above, you cannot participate in any casino games. Games of chance or skill where it is possible to lose money are prohibited. However, if you play on an international betting website, the state cannot prosecute you.
On the flip side, gambling is legal in these states:
- Union Territory
The Future of Online Gambling in India
Like many countries worldwide, online gambling is becoming more popular in India. All age groups are showing interest in online gaming. According to research, approximately 80% of the Indian population gambles at least once a year.
In addition to that, the Indian gambling industry is expected to grow by 41% in the next two years. This means that more online casinos will come up, and states will legalize gambling.
Moreover, India is among the top developers of gaming software. Worldwide markets rely on Indian gaming companies to develop top-notch and high-quality games.
Such factors are encouraging and portray the potential the Indian online gambling market has. Once different sectors realize the potential in the online gambling industry, states will formulate complete laws.
Several countries are joining the bandwagon of legalizing online gambling. It may be illegal to conduct online gambling businesses within India today, but a lot will change sooner rather than later. The influence of trends in the gambling sphere will be hard to pass by.
Such innovations include virtual reality and augmented reality, live dealer gaming, mobile gaming, and 5G internet availability.
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