The recent growth of gambling problems in the fast-paced digital world today
around the world is alarming. People Can access to several online platforms and
can play in secret where and when no one knows they are playing, that were
impossible before. According to a report by The Week, 40 percent of the internet
users gamble in India, and the reports highlights that India might overtake
United Kingdom as well in the numbers of gamblers per captia.
What is Online Gambling?
The Constitution of India does offer a definition of Gambling. It says
that gambling includes any activity or undertaking whose determination is
controlled or influenced by chance or accident or any activity or undertaking
which is entered into or undertaken with consciousness of the risk of winning or
losing (e.g., prize competitions, a wagering contract). The Online Gambling
means to use of the internet to place bets and earn money. It is held in virtual
environment. This includes playing of poker, casinos and sports betting.
How online gambling works?
People can access online casinos that accept INR without the fear of
prosecution. The common online banking casino methods are: credit cards, debit
cards, prepaid cards and cryptocurrencies. Card games are very popular among
Indians, Teen Patti and Rummy draw a large number of players.
Is online gambling legal in India?
Gambling in India, being a state subject entitles the state to frame
State-specific laws on betting and gambling. The Public Gambling Act, 1867, is
the central enactment on the subject, which prohibits all games of chance except
lotteries and games of skill. Any violation of provisions of the law would
attract a fine of Indian rupees of 200 or imprisonment up to 3 months. The
States in India have enacted their own legislations to regulate such activities
and most of the states have an exemption for games of skill. These statutes are
It is tricky to determine whether a game falls under a chance or skills
categories. There exists a lacuna that leaves room for ambiguous
interpretations. Therefore, it falls within the ambit of Indian Judiciary to
interpret whether a particular game falls within ambit of the skill or not.
Future of online gambling in India
In recent years, online gambling has been a hotly debated issue in India. In
July 2018, the law commission of India (LCI) urged the government to legalize
gambling. And it came out with a detailed report recommending that India should
legalize gambling to raise badly needed government revenue.