Is it Legal to Play Online Casino in India?

It is legal to play online casino in India as long as you are playing at an offshore casino. With my many years of studying the legal landscape of gambling in India, I can show you exactly how this is possible.

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The Legality of Gambling in India

Gambling, in general, is illegal in the country, but not without exceptions. The laws around online gambling are so vague that you could play casino games on the web without having to fly under the radar. The next time your family and friends say it’s unsafe, make them read this article.

There’s no solid law in the Indian Constitution that deems betting or gambling at online casinos an illegal activity except the ones formulated specifically for Andhra Pradesh, Maharashtra, Telangana.

Much of the apprehension is because people fear breaching a moral code of conduct or, in the worst-case scenario, breaking laws (which sometimes don’t even exist).

For instance, it is illegal to set up or visit a gambling house, yet there’s nearly no restriction on playing skill-based money games. Betting on horse races and lotteries are legal in many Indian States (check out our list with the best online lotteries here), but satta matka has been outlawed nationwide.

Sports betting, too, is in a gray zone with the Law Commission asking the center to legalize it so illegal match-fixing and frauds can be curbed. It is interesting how ‘skill-based’ games don’t have a proper definition yet.

For instance, Poker and Rummy have been judged as games of skill. But such activities are still under the Indian Government’s regulatory umbrella.

However, despite all the heavy restrictions, India has a large number of legal casinos thriving in Goa, Daman and Sikkim. Lovers of slots, blackjack, roulette, baccarat and other classic games throng these destinations to try their luck every day.

Find a legal online casino for your favorite real money game here:

The floating and legal casino – Deltin Royale

The soaring popularity of real money games has prompted some States to make the next big move to allow online casino gambling as well. Nevertheless, the idea of legality is still steeped in ambiguity. The negativity embedded into the public psyche is a result of this uncertainty.

Furthermore, because betting or gambling is a state subject under the Indian Constitution, each State in the country has full authority to formulate its own laws. Some States like Goa are more lenient while others like Gujarat are extremely stringent about the same.

This is why if you ask if gambling is legal in India, the answer is both yes and no. You need to get down to the nitty-gritty to understand the legal landscape fully.

But why bother when a major loophole makes online gambling completely legal and safe for Indian players?

Check out all legal online casinos in India here

Why Playing at Online Casinos Is Mostly Legal

Let me explain this situation by referring to the Public Gambling Act 1867 – the primary legislation that outlaws gambling in India.

According to this Act, public gambling or visiting common gaming houses or even aiding in the setup and operation of such gaming houses is a punishable offense. However, the same Act mentions games of skills as an exclusion.

Now, this old law was created during the British Raj when the world wide web wasn’t even conceived. Additionally, no major updates have been made since. This makes online gambling technically legal due to the lack of a clear definition. It is neither banned, nor allowed.

Enter International Online Casinos

Indian gambling laws do not apply to foreign-based casinos. The latter type has successfully used the legal ambiguities to its utmost benefit.

Licensed online bookmakers and casino operators outside the country can welcome Indian players to register with them and play real money casino games without drawing flak from the legal authorities in India.

The winnings are credited to a player’s bank account via reliable banking methods such as UPI, Skrill, and Neteller.

Since these overseas operators do not come under the direct jurisdiction of the Indian Central Government or any of the State Governments, they are legally safe.

Any player playing real money games on these websites is technically playing at a casino hosted abroad and hence, safe from being prosecuted. It is next to impossible to hold the player guilty of gambling, especially if the country where the operator is based hasn’t put any legal restrictions on the activity.

These casino and betting sites can even be browsed from those Indian states where online gambling is considered illegal because the respective state governments do not ban the IPs of these companies. As long as you are careful not to visit these sites or play on them publically or engage in gambling in a way you might attract the legal authority's attention, you are safe.

Some good examples are online casinos such as 10Cric, LeoVegas, and Betway which accept Indian players and support the Indian Rupee for monetary transactions.

For instance, 10Cric is a licensee of the Curaçao Gaming Control Board and has a massive player base. Focusing on the Indian market, this online casino and sportsbook offers money games and even allows betting on sports like cricket. With welcome bonuses and regular promotions the operator makes sure players are always engaged.

Because the Indian Government has no jurisdiction over betting or gambling in Curaçao and the country permits such activities, stopping the operators from signing up Indian players is next to impossible.

Similarly, LeoVegas casino is based in Malta and is regulated by the Malta Gaming Authority. Betway Casino holds a license from the UK Gambling Commission as well as the Malta Gaming Authority. These countries have legalized gambling and issue permits to online operators based on predefined conditions.

Practicing fair and responsible gaming falls under the casinos' obligations and violating these terms can lead to termination of licenses. All this ensures that Indian punters can safely play at these casinos and withdraw winnings legally.

In a nutshell, the absence of Internet-specific gambling laws in India has emerged as a blessing for punters in the country as well as these online gambling operators that are sitting abroad.

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Mattias Fröbrant is a passionate iGaming journalist renowned for his comprehensive reviews of over 300 gambling sites in India. With a remarkable 17-year gambling experience and a background working for industry giants like Betsson Group, Mattias has earned recognition as a leading expert in the Indian online gambling field.

At GamblingBaba, Mattias’s commitment to providing accurate and easily digestible information shines through meticulously researched reviews, guides, and news articles. His strong belief in honesty and transparency ensures that readers receive the most reliable insights on the Indian gambling landscape.

To get in touch with Mattias, connect via Linkedin.

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