Is it legal to gamble in India?

To give you the most correct answer to this question. We have allied ourselves with one of the top legal experts on gambling in India. Mr. Sameer Kapoor Senior Advocate in the Odisha State Bar Council. Through our interview, He will attempt to give us the most legal and correct information in this article. So let’s start from the beginning.

Gambling was first prohibited in India during the colonial period under the Public Gambling Act of 1867. This law made it illegal to offer gambling services on a federal level, as well as to visit and use a public gambling facility. The law did not ake any mention of online gambling, as it was made many years before the invention of the internet.

Quote from Mr. Sameer Kapoor, Senior Advocate

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So along comes the internet, and people start asking: Does that mean online gambling is legal, because it is not expressly forbidden under the law of 1867? The short answer is yes. If the government of India had wanted to fully prohibit online gambling, they could have amended the law to prohibit online gambling, but they never did that.

Instead, they left it up to the individual states to decide whether or not to legalize or prohibit gambling in their territory. In the state of Maharashtra, online gambling is completely prohibited, whereas, in the states of Sikkim and Goa, online gambling is officially legal and regulated.

In most other Indian states, there are no specific laws regarding online gambling, which makes it a legal grey area. For example, in the state of Tamil Nadu, it is neither legal nor illegal to gamble online. Therefore, it is not a prosecutable offense to gamble online in any state except Maharashtra.

Quote from Mr. Sameer Kapoor, Senior Advocate

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We understand that some people may have different interpretations of the law, but after having consulted with Mr. Manoj Mishra and several other legal experts in India, they have ensured us that online gambling is not a prosecutable offense, and no one has ever been convicted or let alone prosecuted for online gambling.

The law simply states that gambling providers may not operate on Indian territory unless expressly allowed by the individual states. That is why all of the betting sites and online casinos we recommend are located outside India. It is still completely legal and possible for Indian players to start an account and place bets with these online gambling sites.

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Horse racing is legal but cricket is not

In 1996, it was decided by the Supreme Court of India that horse race betting should be legal because it is skill-based rather than based on luck. This beckons the question, why is horse race betting based on skill when cricket or football bet is not? It takes at least the same amount of skill to predict the outcome of a cricket match, no?

Although we certainly agree that horse race betting should be legal, it seems completely ridiculous to make this distinction from any other sport. The only reason why policymakers decided to legalize horse race betting, is because they know that if they prohibited this, it would be the end of horse breeding in India, which has become a very profitable and prominent industry in India.

One could then ask, isn’t it kind of hypocritical to say gambling is illegal, but still legalize gambling on a few select sports such as horse racing and rummy? This is a classic example of the contradictory gambling laws of India. The government should be consistent in its policy and legalize gambling on all sports throughout India.

When will gambling be fully legalised in India?

The Indian Government is perfectly aware that many citizens are engaged in online gambling and if they wanted to illegal, they would have amended the current law to include the prohibition of online gambling. This has never been done, which means that online gambling continues to be legal in India to this day.

Now the government of India and many state governments are debating whether to legalize gambling in India completely. We believe that this would be a very smart thing to do. It would allow the government of India to collect taxes on the enormous online gambling industry. Citizens donating all this tax money to foreign governments.

It would help the Indian people feel more comfortable with online gambling. Knowing that not only legal, but also sanctioned and regulated by the federal government of India.

Please note that the information found on this page does not constitute legal advice.

Frequently Asked Questions about Indian Gambling Laws

Is it legal to gamble in India?

Yes, except the state of Maharashtra.

Do I risk anything by gambling in India?

In our opinion, no. According to some of the top legal experts in India. They do not know anyone who has been prosecuted or convicted for online gambling ever.