Is betting legal in India? The simple answer to this question is, yes!
The cornerstones of legal betting in India
Two of the most frequently asked questions we get from our readers are; Is betting legal in India and is gambling legal in India. We fully appreciate your concern and confusion around this topic. There are not many clear-cut answers to be found out there. For this matter, we have decided to become your guiding light. Someone you can trust and rely on when in doubt. Have every confidence in when venturing out in the online gambling landscape. – India Gamblers that is!
The founders and authors of India Gamblers are all gamblers just like you. We love betting on our favorite sports and pass some time spinning 5-reels. Gambling is sometimes frowned upon in India, however, it mostly stems from ignorance. As long as you gamble with your head and not over it. Stay true to yourself as a responsible gambler. You should also be able to do it legally – which you can, let’s find out how and why.
Is gambling legal in India
Let’s start with the basics
Gambling in India is regulated through federal and state laws. Governing what you can and cannot do, more or less prohibiting all forms of gambling. Regulations differ considerably between states, but online gambling is not regulated at all, which is the key here. The only exception to this rule is regulated and licensed state lotteries. Which are operated in nine states such as Goa, Sikkim, Punjab, and Kerala.
Key legislation governing online gambling in India
The key legislation that is being relied upon here comes from the Indian constitution. 7th schedule, Public Gaming Act 1867, state legislation, which expressly deals with land-based offline gambling – but there is no mentioning of online gambling whatsoever.
As there is no mentioning of online gambling in the law, they cannot prosecute anyone for it either. As long as the business offering online gambling is based outside of India you’re fine. Otherwise, they could be considered offering gambling on Indian soil which is prohibited. On India Gamblers, we only promote Indian betting sites that are incorporated abroad and have their servers located outside of India. This makes it legal for them to offer their services to Indian customers. And vice versa makes it legal for Indian customers to use their services.
The only state that expressly prohibits gambling is Maharashtra. This means that casinos are not allowed to operate in the state. Even though the Maharashtra Prevention of Gambling act makes it illegal to run a casino. Certain forms of gambling are still legal in the state. Such as horse racing, lottery and card games like rummy and poker.
What is currently being done by the Indian government to enforce the gambling law
The Indian government is blocking all intellectual property, software, and websites coming from local Indian gambling operators. Making it more or less impossible to run a betting site from within the borders of India. The Indian government has also prohibited foreign direct investments towards gambling in India and foreign exchange transactions for gambling purposes.
Nothing of the aforementioned will, however, affect you as a gambler using the betting sites listed here on India Gamblers. We only promote legal international betting sites.
What can we expect from online gambling regulations in India moving forward
The state of Sikkim quite recently approved online gambling on the Playwin lotto platform for a five-year term. And Goa has legalized land-based gambling on cruise ships and in hotels. Advertising gambling is generally also allowed with strict rules across most of India.
Many countries, including the UK, have for long lobbied for new Indian gambling regulations. Mostly to get rid of match-fixing and corruption. This is also the reason why Ajit Singh Shekhawat, Head of the Anti-Corruption unit at the Board of Control for Cricket in India, came out and strongly argued for the legalization of betting. To challenge fraud and corruption associated with Indian cricket. He argued that not only would we be able to clean up the gambling industry in India. But the country would also be able to earn a lot of well-deserved income by making gambling taxable.
Most recent legal events
What is interesting though is that India’s supreme court in December 2019 ruled in favor of those supporting fantasy sports in India. From now on Fantasy sports and rummy will be seen as a game of skill and will not, despite some loud protesting from the opposition, be branded as an illegal gambling product.
As recent as in January 2020 it was also decided to set a flat tax rate of 28% on lotteries. Ruled by India’s Goods and Services Tax Council. This is a major step forward in terms of legalizing, and the state profiting from, gambling.
A lot of things are moving in the right direction. We certainly hope to see that online betting and online casino will soon be fully regulated and legal across all of India.
Until then, you can always be sure that all betting sites listed on India Gamblers are legal and safe to use. For you as an Indian citizen.
Yes, it is legal to gamble in every state in India except for Maharashtra. Online Gambling is also legal as long as the betting or casino site is based outside of India.
Yes, bet365 is perfectly legal for Indian gamblers since the company behind the betting site isn’t based on Indian soil.