Is Online Gambling Banned in India?


Our world is a very diverse place in a million different ways. From cultures, heritages, and traditions, to everyday life, religion, and standards, you will see it all if you decide to travel the Earth a bit. Diversity is a good thing but it can also be quite confusing and problematic in certain scenarios. What a person is used to doing freely at home may be completely illegal in another country or at least frowned upon. This is why research and education are needed whenever you plan to go somewhere for the first time. The subcontinent of India as it is also known is a place with the largest concentration of people on the planet. Out of the near 8 billion people living on the planet, 1.38 are in India. What this means is that it is a place where people have many differences amongst themselves, let alone with other countries.

India is a fascinating place to be. Although hardly without its struggles and hardships, it is still one of the countries most important for the general history of the world and its current state. But how does it fare with some of the modern laws and regulations when it comes to entertainment and pleasures? For example, what is its outlook on gambling? One can never be too sure how a completely different nation treats fun, leisure, and relaxation. This is important for our article here as we analyze the incredibly lucrative industry of online gambling and whether or not it is banned in the Indian subcontinent. Keep reading to find out more about this and be sure to check out for additional information and to browse online Casinos in India.

An Overview


India is a vast and diverse country made up of 28 states and 8 union territories, for a total of 36 different entities. Each of them can introduce its own laws and regulations for most things, including gambling activities. In some states, Goa for example, casinos are fully legalized. On the other hand, some states are restricted and/or banned. These are usually lotteries and horse racing, but other common activities could also fall under the category of illegal.

In the 21st century India, more and more people want access to all sorts of gambling opportunities, both online and in the real world. This is prompting the governments to change their laws and give the citizens more freedom. Of course, there are those who claim that gambling leads to corruption, money laundering, and other criminal activities as well as that it is immoral and detrimental to society. The good thing is that there are more those who know it is a huge source for revenue for every state that legalizes it, and therefore for India as a whole.

Separate States, Separate Laws


Unlike in the United States for example where gambling laws are both the matter of federal and state governments, gambling is solely a subject for the state governments. They are at full liberty to treat it as they please, independently from other states. One of the first modern acts was the Public Gambling Act that went into force in 1867. It states that it is illegal to run a public gambling house, penalty for which is either a fine or up to 3 months in prison. Even visiting a gambling house brings similar penalties. It was already mentioned that Goa allows casinos, but it is only one of the three states to do so. Other two are Daman and Sikkim. Goa has 10 casinos, Sikkim has two, and Daman has one. In 1955, the Prize Competition Act was introduced that restricts any activity that involves awarding prizes. This means that games that offer prizes worth over 1,000 Rupees are illegal.

What the Internet?


In 2000, The Information Technology was introduced that regulated cyber activities in the country. However, it never touched upon online gambling or betting back then. The courts could basically do what they thought was right if some legal matter arose. For now, only Maharashtra has online gambling banned, under the Bombay Wager Act.

The current situation regarding web-based casinos on the subcontinent is complicated mostly due to it being a rather new addition to the country. Gambling is popular in India, as much as anywhere else on average really, but the online variety is in its infancy. There was an attempt in 2010 by Sikkim to offer online gambling licenses, but the move failed despite great interest. Online lottery is allowed in Sikkim taking bets from all over India, not just this state. Other states were thought to follow suit until there was a large, open online gambling market. However, it will take more time for something like this to happen.

The biggest problem for other casinos, and the states that want to introduce online gambling, is that they cannot promote themselves online or even have websites. Anything related to sports betting, bingo, and casino gambling online is not allowed for promotion, but only for Indian companies. For the offshore companies and non-Indian casinos, this is allowed. The only thing they must do is offer the Indian Rupee as one of the currencies across their payment methods. No other legal requirements exist for foreign casinos to operate in India over the internet.

Some of the latest changes includes two states, Andhra Pradesh and Telangana, banning all online gambling for Indians regardless of who the provider is. The penalties are also quite serious. Anyone who is caught breaking the law that became active in January of 2024 receives up to a year in prison, or a hefty fine. In 2024, several states banned online video games that have virtual currencies and money transfers, if the game involves chance.
Still, gambling in India is flourishing even with the presence of laws and regulations like this. It is simply a too fun and engaging activity not to be popular, so tons of illegal gambling is present all over. Actually, it is estimated that the worth of the Indian gambling market is over $60 billion dollars annually. It is only a matter of time before the state governments get in on this realizing the revenue they could have from a well-regulated system.