Simon’s Guide to Online Gambling in India

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This is a picture of model the proposed Sikkim Butterfly Hotel & Casino in India. India is a huge gambling market, even tough gambling regulation is rather complex (especially considering casinos, lottery and poker) many foreign investors are interested in investing in India's growing gambling business. You can read the details below the picture.

Casino, lottery and poker in India

 

The legal status of  both land-based and online gambling in India is rather complex. The main reason for this is that India, the second most populous country in the world, consists of 27 states, all of which has its own government. While the central government of India used to have larger importance, state governments have grown increasingly stronger and more independent. As a result, gambling laws in India vary from state to state.

The first law to take into consideration regarding the legal status of gambling in India is the 1867 Public Gambling Act.* This was a law introduced while India was under British rule. The law states that both owning and being found in a public a gaming house is illegal and punishable by a fine or imprisonment. Games of mere skill are excluded from the act.

The legal status of poker is somewhat controversial (see poker in India below), but the general consensus seems to increasingly that poker is a game of skill and thus legal. Horse racing in India is also considered a game of skill, which means it is not prohibited. States are allowed to operate a lottery in accordance with the 1998 Lotteries Act**, but not all states have their own lottery. Casino gambling is also allowed in a few states, but generally illegal in the country.

Online gambling in India is not specifically regulated. It is generally considered illegal based on the general prohibition of (brick and mortar) gambling, but there have been practically no reports of the law enforced when it comes to online gambling.

A single Indian state, Sikkim has its own online gambling regulation, the Sikkim On-line Gaming (Regulation) Act, 2008 – followed by the regulation regarding online gambling licences. The act allows Roulette, Blackjack, Pontoon, Punto Banco, Bingo, Casino Brag, Poker, Poker Dice, Baccarat, Chemin-de-fer, Backgammon, Keno, and Super Pan 9 games to be played online.

Online sports betting was later added to the games legal in Sikkim as well. The first online gambling licence was issued to the online lottery operator PlayWin. Several other Indian states are looking to legalise online gambling as well, though none have acted yet.

While gamblers playing on foreign online gambling sites are not actively prosecuted, they still face difficulties. Sites are often blocked by ISPs, and payments with Visa and MasterCard may fail. As a result, many Indian gamblers use alternative payment methods and intermediaries to deposit.

 

*Source:The Public Gambling Act, 1867.

**Source: The Lotteries (Regulation) Act, 1998

 

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Summary:

 

 

Casino gambling in India

 

Online casino gambling in India: unregulated

 

Land-based casino gambling is illegal in most of India, as decreed by the 1867 Public Gambling Act. There are currently two states (Sikkim and Goa) and one union territory (Daman) where casino gambling is legal. These states host both “traditional” and floating casinos that are located on cruise ships.

Online casino gambling is not specifically regulated in India, but it is generally considered to be illegal as well. There is only one state where online gambling is legal and regulated, Sikkim. Although online casino gambling was legalised in 2009, the first “real” online casino gambling licence was only issued in 2014.*

Indian gamblers playing on international online casino gambling sites are generally not prosecuted. However, accessing the sites and depositing money to them may prove difficult.

 

*Source: Sikkim online gaming, betting websites to go live very soon as government issues first regular license (Gambling Laws in India)

 

Bingo in India

 

Online Bingo in India: unregulated

 

Bingo is a game of chance, which means it is illegal in most states of India. The game is likely legal in the states where casino gambling is – Sikkim and Goa – but there are no reports of any bingo halls in operation, nor of the casinos offering bingo games.

Online bingo is not specifically regulated in India, but it is generally considered to be illegal as well. Bingo is likely legal in Sikkim, the only state that has regulated online gambling. However, to date, no online bingo operators have been issued licences.

Indian gamblers playing on international online bingo sites are generally not prosecuted. However, accessing the sites and depositing money to them may prove difficult.

 

 

Poker in India

 

Online Poker in India: not regulated

 

The legal status of poker in India is rather delicate. According to the 1867 Public Gambling Act, games of mere skill are excluded from the ban on gambling. While poker is not entirely a game of skill, the Supreme Court of India ruled that when a substantial amount of skill is involved, it is not considered gambling.

The legal status of poker was affirmed in 2013 when, after a poker club was raided for illegal gambling and both operators and players were prosecuted. The High Court ruled in the club’s favour, stating that poker is a game of skill, and the club was entitled to conduct games.

Online poker is likely also considered a game of skill which means it is legal, but most of the states do not issue online gambling licences at all. The only exception is Sikkim, but even in Sikkim very few online gambling licences have been issued, which means there is no abundance of Indian online poker sites.

Indian gamblers playing on international online poker sites are generally not prosecuted, and many poker sites welcome players from India. However, accessing the sites and depositing money to them may prove difficult.

 

 

Sports betting in India

 

Online sports betting in India: unregulated

 

Sports betting is extremely popular, however, most forms of it are illegal in most states. The only type of sports betting in India that is generally legal is horse race betting. Horse races were ruled by the Supreme Court in 1996 to be games of skill and thus allowed.

Online sports betting is legal in Sikkim (which likely means that land-based is as well). However, to date, no online sports betting licences have been issued. Indian gamblers playing on international online sports betting sites are generally not prosecuted, and many online sportsbooks welcome players from India. However, accessing the sites and depositing money to them may prove difficult.

 

 

Lottery in India

 

Online lottery in India: legal in some states

 

Indian states are free to determine the legal status of lotteries within their own jurisdiction. Currently 12 states allow land-based lotteries: West Bengal, Maharashtra, Kerala, Punjab, Madhya Pradesh, Sikkim, Goa, Assam, Arunachal Pradesh, Meghalaya, Manipur and Nagaland. The largest lottery operator in India is playwin, available in several states.

Playwin is also the only licensed online lottery in India, having received its permit from the state of Sikkim in 2009. Its website is available in many Indian states, though illegal in those where lotteries are banned. Indian gamblers playing on international online lottery sites are generally not prosecuted, and many online lotteries welcome players from India. However, accessing the sites and depositing money to them may prove difficult.

 

 

Bitcoin gambling in India

 

Bitcoin gambling in India: unregulated

 

Bitcoin is not regulated in India, to the point where the Deputy Governor of the Reserve Bank of India, K. C. Chakrabarty explicitly stated that there were no plans to regulate the virtual currency.*

Bitcoin gambling is not specifically regulated by Indian laws. It is generally considered illegal, as all forms of gambling are banned by the 1867 Public Gambling Act.  Indian gamblers playing on Bitcoin gambling sites are very unlikely to be prosecuted. However, accessing the sites and depositing money to them may prove difficult.

 

Source: No move to regulate Bitcoins: RBI (The Times of India)

 

Online gambling websites accepting players from India

Most forms of online gambling are legal in at least one Indian state. In most states of India online gambling is not regulated, and in none of them it is illegal. It is not surprising that many international online gambling websites accept players from India.

The following online casinos, online poker websites, online bingo sites and online sportsbooks accept players from India.

 

Online casinos – India

The following online casinos accept players from India.

This is an animated GIF banner ad of Betsson casino. Betsson casino accept players from India. On the banner you can read the following: will you be the next winner?, 100% up to £100, claim your welcome bonus.

Betsson online casino – accepting players from India

This is an animated GIF banner ad of Betsafe casino. Betsafe casino accept players from India. The text on the banner ad reads: Betsafe, 50% deposit bonus up to €25, plus 50 free spins on Gonzo's Quest.

Betsafe online casino – accepting players from India

This is an animated GIF banner of Casino Euro. Casino Euro is one of the many online casinos, which accept players from India.

Casino Euro – accepting players from India.

This is an animated GIF banner ad of the online casino Black Lotus. Black Lotus casino accepts players from India. The animated banner reads: elemental 7, play now, Bonus code: Earth, 10 free spins.

Black lotus casino – accepting players from India

This is the animated GIF banner ad of Lotus Asia online casino. Lotus Asia online casino accepts players from India. The animated banner reads: get $1000 free, download, instant play.

Lotus Asia casino – accepting players from India

This is a picture of 32 Red's animated GIF banner. 32 Red online casino accepts Indian players. The animated GIF reads: 32 Red online casino, sign up now, $10 free no deposit required, Gambleaware.co.uk.

32 Red casino – accepting players from India

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BGO casino – accepting players from India

Online sportsbooks – India

The following online sportsbooks accept players from India.

This is an animated GIF banner ad of Betsson sportsbook. Betsson online bookmaker accepts registrations from India. On the banner you can read: claim your welcome bonus, bonus 100% up to €25.

Betsson online sportsbook – accepting registrations from India

This is an animated GIF banner ad of Betsafe sportsbook. Betsafe online sportsbook accept registrations from India. The text on the banner ad reads. betsafe, 50% deposit bonus up to €25, 2nd tier bonus, open an account today.

Betsafe online bookmaker – accepting registrations from India

This is a banner of 32 Red Sports, the online sportsbook of 32 Red Casino. 32 Red online sportsbook accepts players from India. The animated GIF banner reads: £10 free bet, Place your first bet & get a £10 free bet plus 10 free games on one of our fantastic slots, + 10 free games, 32 Red Sport.

32 Red sport online sportsbook – accepting players from India

 

Online poker websites – India

The following online poker websites accept players from India.

This is a banner ad of Betsson online Poker website. This is a 728x90 pixel banner. Betsson online poker is one of the many online poker rooms, which accept players from India. The animated banner reads: plus 30% rakeback, 100% up to €1000.

Betsson online Poker – accepting players from India

This is the animated GIF banner ad of Betsafe's online poker website. It is 728x90 pixel wide. Betsafe online poker is one of the many online poker websites, which accept players from India. The animated banner reads: betsafe welcome deal, 3 great reasons to join the fun, up to €1000 deposit bonus.

Betsafe online Poker – accepting players from India

This is the animated GIF banner ad of 32 Red's online poker website. It is 728x90 pixel wide. Betsafe online poker is one of the many online poker websites, which accept players from India. The animated banner reads: 32 Red 30% rakeback, $1000 welcome bonus, €2500 freerolls.

32 Red online Poker – accepting players from India

 

Online bingo – India

The following online bingo websites accept players from India.

This is an animated GIF banner ad of BGO Bingo. This online bingo ad features Paris Hilton. BGO Bingo online bingo website accepts players from India. The animated banner reads: spend £10, play with £50, BGO Bingo.

BGO bingo – accepting players from India

This is the animated banner ad of Betsson Bingo. This GIF online bingo banner is 728x90 pixel wide. Betsson bingo is one of the online bingo websites, that accepts players from India. The animated GIF reads: welcome bonus package up to R$1200, receive bonuses on your 4 deposits.

Betsson Bingo – accepting registrations from India

This is the animated banner ad of 32 Red Bingo. This GIF bingo banner is 728x90 pixels wide. 32 Red bingo is a an online bingo website, which accepts players from India. The animated GIF reads: Get £10 To try the all ne 32 Red Bingo, We've got Penny, Bogof and free bingo, guaranteed prites and loads more, plus all the great slots and jackpots we all love, All that's missing is you.

32 Red Bingo – accepting registrations from India

 

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This page is part of Simon’s List – Legal Status of Online Gambling – a definitive guide to the legal status of all forms of online gambling activities in every country around the world.

 

Last updated: 2015.11.06.

Summary
Article Name
Simon's Guide Online Gambling, Lottery, Poker and Casino Gambling in India.
Description
This online gambling guide focuses on the legal status of lottery, poker, casino gambling and online casinos. At the bottom of the guide there is a list of online gambling websites accepting players from India.
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