Is It legal To Play Casino Online In India?

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India is a favorable market for the gaming and gambling industry. And this is mainly because of its population and the fast pace at which technology is growing in the country. However, the question remains whether playing online casino is legal in India or not. The question about the legality of India’s online gambling market is dicey- there is no way to provide a straight yes or no answer. Nonetheless, we will do justice to the question appropriately.

According to the report by Media Entertainment Consulting Network (MECN), India was reported to be the world’s largest and fastest-growing online gambling market. This report wherefore sounds like playing online casino in India is entirely legal. But taking a critical look at List II Entry 34, in the Constitution of India which defined the word gambling as:

 “…gambling includes any activity or undertaking whose determination is controlled or influenced by chance or accident or any activity or undertaking which is entered into or undertaken with the consciousness of the risk of winning or losing (e.g., prize competitions, a wagering contract)… where there is no actual transfer of goods but only payment or receipt of the difference according to the market price, which varies from the contract price…”

And The Public Gaming Act of 1867 that prohibits operating, being in charge, or visiting public gambling venues as illegal. It is therefore difficult to say whether gambling is even legal its simplest form. All these being said, does it mean playing casino online is completely illegal in India? No. And here is the explanation.

Casinos and regulated gambling are legal, but gambling houses are illegal. Real Money Games (RMG) are outlawed; however, you are free from persecution if you play online casinos in other foreign countries. Ultimately, gambling is a State affair in India. And it depends on the legislation and jurisdiction of individual States on the laws they formulate about gambling both online and offline.

Check the list below to find out more information about gambling in India:

Legal Gambling 

  • State-Run Lotteries
  • Horse Betting
  • Games of Mere Skill
  • Rummy Card Games
  • Land-Based Casinos In Sikkim, Goa, and Daman

Illegal Gambling

  • Real Money Games (RMG)
  • Cricket Betting
  • Online Casinos That Are Based In India
  • Games of Mere Chance

It is also noteworthy that the State Governments oversee most legal gambling in India while lotteries are managed and monitored by both the Central Government and State Government. And social games with no real money prize and are singlehandedly regulated by the Central Government.