Compared to several other Asian countries that have fairly clear gambling laws, the gambling laws in India are still rather murky and unclear, and they can often be interpreted in many different ways. Currently, only three Indian states permit gambling including Sikkim, Daman and Goa. Here you can find a mixture of land-based and floating gambling venues with a variety of casino games. Certain forms of online gambling such as casino and poker have been banned, but horse racing, rummy and lotteries are permitted. Indian citizens who do want to gamble online tend to gamble at foreign-owned gambling sites that operate from outside of Indian jurisdiction.
Gambling History in India
Many forms of gambling in India have been prohibited on a federal level since as far back as 1867 when the Indian Public Gambling Act was introduced. This legislation prohibited the running and even frequenting of certain land-based gambling venues, and this was even punishable by either a prison sentence or hefty fine. This particular legislation initially only applied to the ten states which at the time were under British control, but was eventually included to all other Indians states. Despite the occasional changes being made to the Public Gambling Act, the fundamental laws that are now more than a century old are still in place and are outdated.
Legal sports betting is limited to horse racing after it was declared a game of skill by the Supreme Court in 1996 and although today a total of five Indian states run lottery games, they are still banned in most other states. Sikkim launched an online lottery in 2002 called the Sikkim Super Lotto, and this remains the only locally licensed gambling site in India. The Indian authorities further restricted online gambling activities and enacted the Federal Information Technology Act (F.I.T) in May 2011 and, today, players that are based in India who do wish to gamble at online casinos and other similar websites such as poker rooms can only do so at foreign-owned websites that operate from outside of Indian borders.
India Gambling & Online Gambling Laws
Gambling in India, particularly online casino gambling, online poker and certain other forms of online gambling, is still extremely restricted and online gambling is still in its infancy. In October 2014 the state government of Sikkim issued its first ever license to an online gambling operator called Future Gaming Solutions Private Limited. This fully licensed, home-grown operator was now legally permitted to provide real money online gambling services to citizens that reside within the state.
This was the first real step towards a more regulated gambling industry in India, and hopefully other states will follow in the footsteps of what the Sikkim authorities have achieved. This is all possible under the Sikkim On-line Gaming (Regulation) Act, 2008, and Sikkim On-line Gaming (Regulation) Rules, 2009. It must also be noted that direct financial transactions between Indians and foreign gambling sites are also NOT permitted, although there are no actual laws in place that will send Indians to jail for doing so and players have found many ways to circumvent this legislation.
Also, depositing to a gambling site in a currency other than rupees could also be considered an exchange of foreign currencies which is covered by the Foreign Exchange Management Act (FEMA) that was introduced to India back in 1999. The F.I.T Act has also made it the responsibility of Internet Service Provider’s to block offshore gambling websites, although this has had little effect and many Indians continue to enjoy gambling in the real money mode daily at many foreign-owned websites.
Online Casino Benefits to Players from India
Players living in India now have access to a growing number of fully licensed online casinos, and although they are mainly foreign controlled and based outside of Indian jurisdiction they are licensed by some of the toughest online gambling licensing authorities in the world which impose the strictest controls over their licensees.
Therefore Indian players can now benefit from being able to play at some of the most trusted online gambling sites in the world that are controlled by renowned operators with a solid history in the online, and sometimes offline, gambling industries. Although many of these websites do not yet accept Indian Rupees, a growing number of online casinos do now accept this currency, and therefore you can also now benefit from playing in your local currency at some of these websites as well.
English isn’t the only language supported at these casinos. Many of these websites also now support most other major world languages, and they provide player support for Indians in multiple languages. Indian citizens can also now benefit from playing on some of the best online casino games in the world from many of the world’s most advanced online casino software providers and in addition to the welcome bonus that players are entitled to, there are lots of other attractive casino bonuses and big jackpots that Indians can benefit from.
FAQ Useful to Players from India
How do I deposit and withdraw at an online casino if I’m from India?
There are lots of perfectly reliable online payment options that Indian players can use to deposit at online casinos such as certain e-wallets, Bitcoin and numerous other methods.
Is it legal to play at online casinos in the real money mode?
As a player you are NOT breaking any current Indian laws by playing in the real money mode at an online casino.
How do I know the casino is safe?
Today’s most secure Indian online casinos are generally licensed in one of a handful of major licensing jurisdictions around the world, and they are often controlled by trusted foreign operators with credible backgrounds. They are also protected by an advanced form of online casino security known as 256-bit SSL (Secure Socket Layer) encryption technology.
Are the games fair and do they produce realistic and random outcomes?
The games are about as fair and realistic as they can be and the outcomes are produced by frequently tested Random Number Generators.
Can I play in Indian Rupees?
Yes and No. A growing number of fully licensed online casinos are starting to accept Indian Rupees, but where this isn’t possible you would just have to play in another major currency instead.
Online Gambling Highlights in India
- Players now have access to both home-grown online gambling sites and offshore-based online casinos
- These trusted gambling websites are always free to sign up to, and there’s generally a guaranteed welcome bonus for all new players
- You can now play in your local currency of Indian Rupees at an ever-growing number of fully licensed online casinos
- You can play to win some of the world’s biggest online jackpots with games that have extremely wide betting ranges that cater to low rollers and high rollers
- Enjoy playing on games that have been developed and supplied to the casinos by some of the best online casino software providers in the world
- You can count on instant deposits (when using most deposit methods) and also really quick withdrawals that can take anywhere from just a couple of hours up to usually no more than 48 hours to be processed
- Play at today’s best Indian online casinos across multiple platforms and from most modern computing devices (Windows and Mac operating desktop and laptops and most smartphone and tablet devices)
Problem Gambling Help in India
Unfortunately there are very few centres in India that specifically specialise in the treatment of gambling addictions, but although Indian problem gamblers may not have access to as many useful problem gambling institutions that players in many other countries have access to, there are still plenty of De-Addiction centres dotted across India.
These non-profit organizations understand and know how to treat certain mental addictions, and they are the best place to turn to if you, a friend or family member is suffering from a gambling problem in any way, shape or form. Indian problem gamblers can also look towards other country’s institutions who also offer free online counselling, support and guidance to problem gamblers from almost every nation. Examples include Gamblers Anonymous, GamCare and Gamble Aware, to mention but a few.