Published On : Fri, Mar 12th, 2021

Gambling Online In India: Is It Legal?

Gambling had been a popular activity for a lot of people for a long time throughout history. One can even say that gambling is something that is “as old as time.” Nowadays, most nations in the world have accepted gambling as a legally-recognized activity. ON the other hand, some are still yet to legalize or regulate gambling activities in their country. This leaves the activity of gambling either completely outlawed or left to lie in a grey area of uncertainty. In India, the case is the latter, as the old laws still apply until the present time.

If you are wondering if it is , the easy answer is no, it is not. At least, for most of the country. This is because the regulation and laws surrounding gambling are left mostly to each state, with a central law that can apply in the absence of a state-specific regulation. What you should remember is that these legalities and technicalities only apply to land-based gambling.

How about online gambling and apps like, then? Before answering this question, it is better to understand how the laws surrounding gambling in India work and how it affects–or does not affect–online gambling as a whole.

Here are the things that you need to know.

The Public Gambling Act of 1867

Of the laws and regulations in India that can affect gambling, nothing is more prominent and influential than the Public Gaming Act of 1867. In a nutshell, this law prohibits gambling as a whale in the country. It is considered illegal to run a gambling establishment and it is also a crime to be found inside one. Under the law, these “violations” are punishable booth by a fine and prison time of at least three months.

One part of the law, specifically Section 12, states that “skill-based”: games are not considered gambling and thus allowed to be played in public. It reads: “Act not to apply to certain games. Nothing in the foregoing provisions of this Act contained shall be held to apply to any game of mere skill wherever played.” However, the definition that sets apart a game of chance from a game of skill is blurry and has not been established well.

On the other hand, there is also the Information Technology Act of 2000. This law encompasses a lot of things that are done online, from shopping to social media interaction and a lot more.

India gambling by state

So far, only three states in India have legal gambling activities: Goa, Daman, and Sikkim.

In Sikkim, there are only two casinos so far:  Casino Sikkim and Casino Mahjong. In Goa, there are ten legally operating casinos, with four of them being “floating casinos”–these are Casino Deltin Royale, Casino DeltinJaqk, Casino Pride, and Casino Pride 2.

It has been long rumored that Visakhapatnam would be the next place to have gambling legalized and regulated. Until then, people who are into gaming would be forced to keep their betting activity in-app and online.

How about online casinos?

If there is a law essentially prohibiting land-based gambling for almost the entire country, how about if it’s done online?

Although the Information Technology Act of 2000 regulates and controls a lot of activities done online, it does not have anything specific that talks about online gambling. From a legal technical standpoint, this makes online gambling a legal activity in the country. However, since operating a gambling establishment is illegal, this means that people can only play on offshore online sites or apps, or those that have their base of operations located in another country.