Gambling has a long history on the Indian continent. Before technology became commonplace, Indians played games such as Teen Patti. However, after colonization and the eventual introduction of democracy and legal authority, it became necessary to control gambling activities and ensure the safety of people and their money. Hence, the Public Gambling Act of 1867 was the first law to outlaw gambling.
The boom of the internet saw the introduction and popularity of online casinos in India. Online casinos have several advantages over land casinos. Licensed betting companies usually control them and offer a range of casino games that is impossible for a land casino to the house. They also offer robust bonuses, using reputable payment methods on a security-encrypted platform to allow players to make transactions.
Interestingly, online gambling in India is not affected by the dictates of the Public Gambling Act because it was introduced before the internet was created. Therefore, no article in the constitution says online casinos are illegal. Meanwhile, due to the devolution of power, state governments have the power to create their gambling laws. Therefore, it rests on the state governments to create their gambling laws and ensure compliance of gambling practices to the law.
Casinos And Gambling Laws In India
The central gambling law in India is the Public Gambling Act of 1867, which disallows the running of a casino or public gaming house. The penalty for breaking or breaching this law is imprisonment of about three months or a fine of Rs. 200. Also, people are prohibited from visiting a gambling house, and the penalty for breaking this law is imprisonment for up to a month or a fine of Rs. 100.
Fortunately, this general constitution doesn’t affect online casinos since they don’t require a physical building to operate. Hence, most states have laws, and only three of them have made casinos legal.
Casinos and handles
A casino, either physical or online, is a destination where gambling games such as Poker, Blackjack, Roulette, and poker can be played. They may also be in 5-star hotels in India like the ones in Las Vegas, which is the gambling capital of the USA. When players win games in the casino, they usually win rewards, and they can cash out as money.
For casino gaming operators, the most important part is the handle because it is the total amount players place as a bet in the game. Players place their bets on the handle, which may be a chip or cash, and they can either win or lose their bet.
How casinos make money
Handles come from capacity use, time spent, and average bet. Capacity use means the number of slot machines or tables in a casino. The more time or, the more bet you put in games translates to more earnings by the casino.
Online casinos make money as players lose their bets. Game operators have an advantage called house edge, which is usually between 1% and 5%. Slots games usually have a high house edge, which is why most online casinos usually have more slot games than other sections. However, players sometimes win big money, and the casinos must pay to ensure fairness and integrity.
Game of skill and Game of luck
In India, games are in two distinct categories: Game of Chance or Game of Skill.
In Game of Chance, games are usually played randomly or based on luck. Anyone can play this game and win or lose. An example is dice games, they are prohibited in India.
Games of Skill require a player’s prior knowledge of the game. Some may even require initial training, a level of experience, and logical thinking before anyone can win. Most of them are legal in many states in India.
There is often confusion in the position of some games because they fit those two criteria. However, Game of Chance is not legal in India.
Law Article in India
The Public Gambling Act of 1867 is the general constitution governing gambling activities in India. However, since states also have their laws, most have amended them, showing their support or restrictions on gambling activities. It is not yet clear which games are Game of Skill or Game of Chance, but gambling legislations exclude the former from the purview of gambling, and it doesn’t attract any penalty.
The court ruled in State of Andhra Pradesh v. K. Satyanarayana and Others that:
“Unlike the “three-card” game referenced in the Madras case, to which we were directed, rummy is not just a game of chance. The “three-card” game, often known as “flush,” “brag,” and other variations, is purely a game of chance. Rummy, on the other hand, necessitates a certain level of expertise since it needs memorizing the order in which the cards fall and demands substantial skill in both holding and discarding cards. Therefore, we cannot claim that the game of rummy is entirely based on chance. It is primarily and predominately a skill-based game. Rummy’s chance is comparable to the chance involved in a transaction in a game of bridge.”
For the online casino, there is no law in India prohibiting playing online casino games in India. Thus, Indian players can bet on local or foreign websites. However, online casinos are regulated by licensing agencies or governments, cyber laws under the Information technology Act of 2000, and financial regulatory bodies.
List of Legal Online Casinos in India
There are numerous good online casinos in India, and their home nation or territory issues the licenses. They include Europa Casino, Lucky Spins, Jeetplay, Casumo, Betway Live Casino, Pure Win, Glass Casino, Parimatch Casino, 1x Bet Casino, Jackpot Guru, Fun88, Shangri La, Slots Casino, Lucky Days, Melbet Casino, Leon Casino, etc.
We have reviewed some of them below.
Betway Live Casino
Betway Live Casino is a recommended and ideal online casino in India, boasting a large volume of games in the sportsbook and numerous cricket betting options. It is a global company licensed by the Malta Gambling Authorities, a top gambling regulatory authority in Europe, and bettors in India can play games from it.
The game offers a 100% match deposit bonus of up to ₹2500 with a minimum deposit of ₹200. This bonus is only for new players and expires after seven days. The wagering requirement is 6x before a bonus withdrawal can occur. Betway accepts Indian rupees, and although they are based outside the country, they are licensed by a known authority, so it is safe and secure for Indian players to register and bet on games on the site.
Betway casino can be accessed directly on the web using your browsers and has two apps – one for sports betting and the other for casino games. This casino is popularly known for its cricket betting options in several tournaments, including ODI World Cup, T20 World Cup, Indian Premier League, etc.
Pure Win casino is another top online casino and sports betting site in India. It is licensed and regulated by Curacao, and it is legal for Indian players to play casino games on the site. The site is well-designed and pretty easy to navigate. There is a Pure Win app if you don’t want to use the web platform.
Registration is easy on the site, and the casino welcome bonus is up to ₹90000 on the first three consecutive deposits. In addition, players will also get a ₹1500 live casino bonus plus a ₹500 sports bet bonus. Amazing, isn’t it?
The expiration date is 90 days for the casino bonus and 7 days for the live casino and sports free bets.
Casino Days allows Indian players to enjoy exciting casino games such as Blackjack and Roulette from the convenience of their homes. The online casino is licensed and has its headquarters in Curacao.
Casino days uses verified platforms for its payment methods, and its transactions are safe and fast. If you sign-up as a new user on the site, you will get 100% of your deposit up to ₹40000 with a minimum deposit of ₹500. This offer is only for the first deposit and must be wagered 35 times before it can be withdrawn
Casumo casino is another global casino brand that offers fun and robust rewards to players in exchange for their time. It was founded in 2012 and licensed and regulated by the UKGC (UK Gambling Commission) and the MGA (Malta Gaming Authority). So, you can be sure that your credentials and personal information are safe.
Registering on the site is straightforward, and you get a 100% bonus of up to ₹4000 with a minimum deposit of ₹1000. You must wager this bonus 30 times before you can make a withdrawal.
The casino offers a wide range of games, including Indian games like Teen Patti and Andar Bahar.
10Cric started operations in 2013 and offers a wide variety of games with numerous betting options. It is fully authorized and regulated by Curacao e-Gaming Authority in Curacao. The casino boasts of above 2000 games from renowned software providers like Evolution Gaming, Skywind, Spinomental, Yggdrasil, NetEnt, and many more.
As an Indian looking for games that suit your taste, you can go for table games such as Andar Bahar, Teen Patti, Jhandi Munda, Bola Golek, Fish Prawn Crab, Fan Tan, Satta Matka, Xoc Dia, and Bai Buu.
When you register as a new gamer, you will get ₹60000 on your first three deposits. After that, the wagering requirement is 20x, and the bonus expires after 15 days. When you complete each bonus, you will get ₹500 worth of free bets.
Fun88 was launched in 2009 and is a big name in the betting industry, although it is not popular amongst Indian players. It is licensed and regulated by the Gambling Commission of Great Britain and is owned by TGP Europe Ltd, which is based in the Isle of Man.
In Fun88 casino, you can play all kinds of casino games, including live casino betting options. The web version is compatible with a web browser and PCPC, but there is no Fun88 app. You get a 100% welcome bonus on your first bonus and 88 free spins. You can contact the customer support team via live chat or email.
Europa casino has been on the global scene since 2004 and is a household brand trusted by many players. The casino is genuinely licensed and regulated by the Malta Gaming Authority, and players worldwide, including in India, can register and start playing games in the casino.
The casino boasts a sleek interface, over 400 casino games from trusted software providers, and verified local and international payment platforms.
As a newly registered gamer, you will get a ₹168000 welcome bonus alongside 500 free spins in the first two deposits on the site. There is also a loyalty program, and players can win up to ₹17500 in a week!
JeetPlay casino was founded in 2020 by GMFY Tech NVNV and licensed by the government of Curacao. The casino is solely committed to casino games, and there are sports betting options on the site. In addition, JeetPlay has tight security encryption on its platform, and you can be sure that your details are safe with them.
You can enjoy about 2000 mobile games from top software providers like iSoftBet, Evoplay, Evolution Gaming, and Microgaming. There is always something for you, whether slot games, card games, or live casinos.
You get a 100% welcome bonus up to ₹70000 with a minimum deposit of ₹700 and a playthrough requirement of 25x.
22Bet is a popular casino in India, providing an amazing betting experience for players. The casino is known for its sportsbook, one of the largest sportsbooks of any casino, 50+ payment options, and a mobile app compatible with Android and iOS. It was established in 1997 and is based in Cyprus, where it operates globally.
You enjoy a 100% welcome bonus of up to ₹10000 as a new player. Payment methods include trustworthy platforms such as EcoPayz, Mastercard, VISA, Neteller, Skrill, Netbanking, etc. you can also make payments using INR and cryptocurrency. So sign up for 22Bet casino, and you will be glad you did.
Mr Luck Casino
This casino is where luck meets all players, whether new or old. Mr Luck casino is licensed by the government of Curacao and controlled by Highweb Ventures, a company in the same territory. The casino is open to all players worldwide, including Indian players.
When you deposit as a newly registered player, you will get a 500% welcome bonus of up to ₹10000. Your second and third deposits offer you 400% and 300% bonuses, respectively. There is no other casino where you will get this type of offer. However, you have to wager this bonus and the deposit amount 30 times before withdrawing it from your account, and the offer is only valid for 7 days.
Mr Luck casino’s website gives you a luxurious touch as you navigate because it is new and boasts an amazing user interface.
Can You Play Online Casino Games Legally in India?
Yes, playing games at an online casino in India is absolutely legal. This is because the general law doesn’t prohibit gambling, and most states don’t penalize online gambling except for a few.
There is a growing call for regulated and legalized casinos in the provisions of the constitutions, but online casinos remain an entity that is still unclear in India. Hence operators and players will not be penalized for activities in the online space.
States like Sikkim and Nagaland positively respond to online gambling, whereas Maharashtra, Karnataka, and Odisha consider gambling illegal. However, there are no specific penalties for those who break this law. We are not advocating civil disobedience; instead, we are only supporting that you place a bet in an online casino if only that state has regulated the process.
The current legal situation of online gambling in India
While the legal extent of gambling is not clear in India, we have been able to clear the air on some positions about Indian casinos in India, including the following.
- Sikkim and Nagaland allow Game of Chance (E-gaming).
- Goa, Nagaland, Sikkim, and Daman legalized online gambling under the Public Gambling Act of 1976.
- Horse racing is legal since it requires some level of skill.
- Several Indian states have legalized lotteries, including Kerala, Madhya Pradesh, Manipur, Sikkim, West Bengal, Goa, Punjab, Nagaland, Assam, Maharashtra, Meghalaya, and Arunachal Pradesh.
- Maharashtra considers gambling illegal under the Bombay Prevention of Gambling Act, 1887.
- Arunachal Pradesh and Telangana consider Game of Skill illegal under the Telangana State Gaming Act, 1974.
States in India Where Online Gambling is Not Illegal
Out of the 36 states and territories in India, only three of them have legalized casinos. Others prohibit land-based casinos, but there are no clear-cut penalties for online casinos.
The Sikkim Online Gaming Amendments Acts, 2009 allows and controls online gaming in the state of Sikkim. The state allows operators based in the country or are foreign but are licensed and regulated by their base country.
Nagaland is another state that allows online gambling, and if you are a local casino, you can apply for a casino to provide online games and services from the state.
Goa is India’s third and last state that allows all forms of gambling. This means that a gambler can place a bet on all forms of games in both online and land casinos.
An underlying issue in India has been the legality of online casinos. The general law was written before the advent of the internet, and while most states have modern gambling laws, they do not clarify a penalty for playing games in an online casino.
So, you can register at your favorite online casino and start playing games until a definite legal article is written to show the government’s position on an online casino. Who knows, you might hit a jackpot!
Questions & Answers about the laws of online gambling in India ICLG
According to findings, no one has ever been incarcerated for playing online casino games, and we think it will not happen soon. This is because India’s law on online gambling is unclear and confusing. No article in the constitution states that online gambling is illegal. So, it makes it safe for players to play games in online casinos at their convenience.
Yes, it is absolutely legal to use international gambling sites in India.
Most reputable casinos in India are licensed and based elsewhere. However, since they are already regulated in their base country or territory, players worldwide can register on their platforms and play casino games.
There is no best way to deposit money at a casino site because all payment platforms have a step-by-step process for making deposits or withdrawals.
Payment methods vary from bank transfers; to credit/debit cards like Mastercard and VISA; cryptocurrency like Bitcoin, Ethereum, Litecoin, Dogecoin, etc.; fintech companies like Skrill, Neteller, and so on.
So, if you want to carry out any transaction, click on your preferred payment method and follow the following steps. Online platforms have simple steps for payment.
Yes, it is legal to withdraw your money after you have won on a betting site.
Withdrawal depends on the wagering requirements, especially if you are a new player. Other than that, you are free to make withdrawals provide you meet the minimum deposit limit. Withdrawal processing time varies per method; some may take hours while others take days.