India is one of the countries with archaic gambling and online gaming laws. Even with the world moving swiftly towards a more flexible viewpoint as regards games of skill, particularly casino games, India’s online gaming law is still very vague. It can even be called non-existent as the current government is not putting any efforts into the gambling laws.
While the confusion as to what type of gambling activity is legal continues in the country, it is quite obvious that Indians are in love with online gaming. According to recent stats published by ICSS (International Centre for Sports Security), the worth of the Indian betting market is over $130 billion. After going through this piece, do not forget to participate in legal online gambling in India at Lucky Dice.
Legality of Online Gambling in India
The outlook of the Indian government as regards online betting and gambling is still a grey area. About four sports were given total betting approval by the government, while the other sports of similar characters as the approved sports were not given any betting approvals. Sports like rummy and Horse racing are regarded as games of skill and are free to wager on but other games like poker and cricket as seen as games of luck and they are viewed differently by the Indian lawmakers.
One major grey area in the gaming laws of India is the Poker. It is very surprising that games like the Texas Hold’em and Teen Patti (flush) is prohibited while Rummy can be wagered on. It is even more surprising that horse racing is allowed to be wagered on due to its classification as a skill game, yet cricket betting is prohibited. Interestingly, both horse racing and cricket share the same skill set.
The days of Matka gaming are long gone in India. What you will find these days are only a few games to wager on. Betting on such games is also found in particular states. Presently lottery, online rummy, online poker, horse racing, and a few gaming platforms are legal in India.
The Different State Laws on Gambling in India
If you are a regular online game player in India, you will notice that states in India have their individual gambling laws, even with the existence of centralized Acts. So, why are there different gambling laws in different states in India? The answer to this question is quite straightforward; the constitution of India, particularly in the 7th schedule gives states the power to make regulations and policies as regards betting and gambling in their various states. This means that the 7th schedule gives states the power to legalize online gaming and gambling if they wish to do so.
All the state governments in India can enact gambling laws as well as regulate gaming activities in their individual states according to their discretion. In addition, the Central government is prohibited from intervening in the proceedings of any of the states. With the diversity in the tribes in India and twenty-nine different states, one can only think about how diverse the gambling laws will be. Up till this very moment, only thirteen states have legalized lotteries while the rest have enacted several laws prohibiting gambling. Amongst the states that have legalized gambling are Sikkim and Goa.
Casino Gaming In Goa
There have been two significant amendments to the Goa, Daman and Diu Public Gambling Act, 1976. The amendments to the law legalize different gambling games. According to the amendments, slot machines and electronic amusements are allowed in certain locations in the states. The games authorized include offshore gaming and several table games. As of 2011, Goa could boast of numerous offshore casinos and 7 land based casinos.
Casino Gaming in Sikkim
Another state that legalized gambling in India is Sikkim. It is in fact the second state to do that. According to the Sikkim Casino Games (Control and Tax Rules) 2002, the government of Sikkim has the power to grant gaming licenses to casino operators and online gaming platforms.
This is the first state to legalize internet gambling in India. Following the 2002 law, Sikkim started handing out licenses to online casino operators whose servers are within the state. The licenses issued by the state of Sikkim include sports betting, lottery and casino gaming. The belief is that when the gaming operators become fully operational in Sikkim, players from other states will be allowed to legally wager there. The laws regulating gambling in Sikkim has made betting giants like Betfair and WilliamHill to watch the Indian betting market with keen interest.