The legal landscape for online gambling in India is fairly complex and might seem very confusing to the common man in the country.
In the context of Indian law, gambling is a state subject which means every state has the right to enact laws that regulate, govern, or prohibit online gambling.
Several states like Tamil Nadu and Telangana have prohibited online gambling via laws, while northeastern states like Sikkim have created laws that allow them to regulate and license online gambling operators in the country.
At the centre level, there currently isn’t and most possible will never be, laws that control online gambling. In effect, it means that online gambling is legal in most parts of the country, with the exception of states with specific rules that prohibit it.
So, is online gambling illegal in India?
Most states in India do not permit local companies to run online gambling sites in India. However, to make things a bit more confusing, the majority of states in India allow local companies to run sites that facilitate real money play in “games of skill.”
Legally, a “game of skill” is one where luck isn’t the only element required to win the game. Examples of these games include poker and rummy. In contrast, a “game of luck” defines online casino games like slots.
So, while Indian companies can create poker and rummy sites, all the best online casinos in India are run by foreign companies. Since these companies are located overseas and carry licenses to operate internationally, they are free to do so in unregulated markets like India.
Still, law of the land applies
Even though international online casino sites can operate legally in India, they cannot circumvent any local laws. For example, these sites cannot operate in states where online gambling is explicitly prohibited by local laws like Tamil Nadu.
Additionally, foreign companies also have to comply with Anti-Money Laundering (AML) and foreign exchange laws in India to ensure there is no malicious financial activity through these sites.
The future for online gambling in India
For the foreseeable future, the online casino industry in India does look promising, especially with the introduction of regulation and licensing in northeastern states.
Gambling has always remained a touchy subject in India, with some areas like Goa and Sikkim known for embracing it while others are known for avoiding it.
Given the lack of legislative power in the centre regarding the subject, it seems like the divide will continue and the Indian market might follow the US market where every state has different regulations and rules. #KhabarLive #hydnews