What's the Legal Situation of Gambling in India?
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What's the Legal Situation of Gambling in India?

By SiliconIndia   |   Monday, 26 November 2018, 09:07 Hrs
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What’s the Legal Situation of Gambling in India?



India is one of the world’s countries the hardest hit by a demand for online gambling, and it’s arguably one of the countries where online gambling is seen the most – and not just because of the sheer population size of India, but rather because of the popularity of the game, whether or not it happens to be legal.



The cultures of gambling and gaming are integral parts of India and it can no longer be denied that it’s a hugely popular pastime – but is it legal?



Here’s more about the legal status of gambling in India, and why increasing pressure on government could soon see the entire industry transformed.



India’s Antiquated Gambling Laws



As it stands, online gambling is illegal in India – and the penalties associated with online gambling are severe, and can be as much as 90, 000 rupees per day.



But the argument isn’t a simple case of yes or no. The gambling laws that apply to gambling can be called almost antique. India relies on The Public Gambling Act of 1867, which doesn’t leave room for many modern concepts of gambling like remote betting, online gambling – or legal gambling by the public.



These outdated gambling laws have contributed to a fair amount of gray areas in the law, and a massive demand for the laws to change.



Illegal Gambling in India



Despite the fact that the laws declare online gambling and general gambling erring on the wrong side of the law in India, gambling both on and offline are immensely popular – and if you know who to ask, you can find a traditional casino offering for-money bets just around the corner from almost anywhere.



Just because it’s technically illegal doesn’t mean that it isn’t there. Illegal gambling is also known to spike during festival times (e.g. Diwali).



Legal Gambling in India



This doesn’t mean to say that all forms of gambling are illegal. There are forms of legal, state-run and approved lotteries that can be entered – though does this really meet the huge demand for an online gambling market?



There are also some legal casinos in India for people who’d like to place a bet, but these are too few and far between to be used by the local population of India; in fact, it would seem that the few legal gambling spots in India have become nothing more than tourist stops.



Attempts at Legal Gambling



Considering the high demand of legal online gambling in India, there have been several attempts over the years to raise the level of competition – and try to legalize the market. The first is a legal online lottery (from Sikkim) that allows bets from players based throughout India; this can be called a test-phase of sorts to see what can happen – and it has potential.



One of the most notable attempts for legal online gambling to India was the planned introduction of three legal gambling licenses for online use in 2010 – but this never happened, and ever since then people have been waiting for an alternate solution to the problem.



More Pressure on Government



The legal online lottery and the planned introduction of online gambling licenses in 2010 was enough to create a massive amount of hype about online gambling in India, and it managed to get the big players in the game talking – even when it didn’t happen in the end, it seems to have had the necessary effect.



According to a very recent report submitted to government by the Law Commission in 2018, online gambling can no longer be ignored – and they are strongly urging government to reconsider legalizing the industry.



Some of the potential benefits of legalizing the online gambling market in India include a rapid rise in revenue, and investment opportunities for many big players in the gambling circuit – can you imagine seeing a special Pokerstars India pop up soon? This isn’t all: More benefits to legal online gambling in India includes a lot less pressure on the court system when they no longer have to fine or charge those in charge of running gambling operations.



Also likely is a reduction in fraud, common when the dynamic moves from illegal to legal.



India: The Land of Opportunity?



With the demand for legal online gambling growing even more, the potential opportunity for India if gambling becomes legal is very obvious – you can click here for more info.



People in business understand the value of an existing demand, and the opportunity that a market such as this can offer – especially if nobody has cornered the market yet, like we’re seeing in India.



It’s fair to say that investors are standing ready and keeping their eyes on changing regulations in India so that they can jump in with their investments the second it becomes a legal industry – and there’s a lot of money to be made through a legal online gambling industry in India for investors and gamblers alike.



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