Categories: Blog |
Published by: Rohit Parmar
Updated on: 01/08/2022
Would you believe us when we tell you that gambling is generally illegal in India, save a few Indian states? Yes, it is true, but it pertains to land-based gambling that is illegal, while online gambling is a whole different story. Online gambling is actually not regulated, and until the gambling laws change, Indian players can freely join foreign online casinos. At Pro Indian Casinos, we love online gaming, and we have made it our mission to bring you everything about online gambling in India. Take a look at the best online horse race betting in India. Here, we’ll discuss at length how despite being an illegal activity, online casinos are available for Indian players.
Gambling Laws in India
Even though land-based gambling is generally illegal in India, gambling has deep roots in Indian culture, with specific games still regularly being played during major Hindi holidays. However, the general gambling law in India is close to 155 years old and is obviously unclear; still, it does have an exciting delineation between the different gambling games.
Per Indian law, there are two types of gambling games – games of chance and games of skill. The Indian Gambling Law does not consider the games of skill as gambling, as these depend on the player’s skill and thus are not reliant on luck. But the law does not delineate which games are games of chance and which are games of skill.
Note: Games of skill are considered legal in India!
The Indian Supreme Court has even ruled on several occasions related to gambling and was tasked with determining what games are considered games of skill and what are games of chance. Horse racing is very popular in India, and per the Supreme Court, it is a game of skill, making it legal. There are many similar examples, but the consensus related to online gambling remains the same, which we’ll explain in detail below.
Federal Gambling Law in India – Public Gambling Act of 1867
The Federal Gambling Law in India is the Public Gambling Act of 1867, meaning it is 155 years old. For obvious reasons, it does not have any provisions relating to online gambling; thus, any foreign online gambling platform can provide its services to Indian players.
The Public Gambling Act does not regulate online gambling, and online casinos freely provide their games and services to people from India.
The Public Gambling Act has been amended, but the last amendment was added in 1970 and related to lotteries. The definition of gambling was amended to wagering or betting, excluding lotteries. The newly caused confusion was resolved in 1998 with another act about lotteries exclusively.
FEMA – The Foreign Exchange Management Act of 1999
Another federal law in India that relates to online gambling in India is the Foreign Exchange Management Act, or FEMA for short, which passed in 1999. Even though the law does not directly relate to online gambling, FEMA relates to the financial aspect of online gambling.
FEMA applies to the currencies Indian people use online, including online casino sites from India. The way to bypass FEMA is for the online casinos to accept transactions in Indian Rupees. Another way for Indians to enjoy online gambling and not violate FEMA is to use electronic wallet payment systems instead of using their credit/debit cards.
An e-wallet payment system is the safest, most convenient option for Indian gamblers.
Using an e-wallet undergoes different foreign exchange rules, and the online casino can process the payment without violating FEMA. The transactions made via e-wallets like Skrill, Neteller, PayTM, and Google Pay are easy for customers and are incredibly fast and convenient, no matter the country of origin.
Skrill, Neteller, PayTM, and Google Pay are globally famous e-wallet payment systems Indians can use.
The Information Technology Act of 2000
The Information Technology Act of 2000 is an Indian federal law that does not mention online gambling but is indirectly related to online casinos. Namely, this law has a provision allowing the Indian Federal government to block foreign websites should it decide it is necessary. The law allows the government to block access to a website using the ISP (internet service provider). The government in India has already used this option on some gambling sites, and there is no information on whether access to these websites will be restored.
How Indian Gambling Laws Affect Indian People
Since India lacks an up-to-date law regarding online gambling, each state has specific gambling laws. However, if your state does not have any legislative regulations related to gambling, the federal Public Gambling Act applies.
That being said, there are several Indian states where land-based gambling is legal. These are Goa, Sikkim, and Nagaland, and they have state laws allowing land-based casinos governed by a regulative gambling body.
On the other hand, Telangana, Andhra Pradesh, and Tamil Nadu have strictly prohibited all kinds of gambling, including online gambling. If anyone is caught gambling in these states, they could be fined six months in jail and a ₹5K for a first offense, and repeat offenders could face two years in jail and a ₹10K fine. Still, very few people have been subjected to this, as the state has difficulty implementing the law. The Andhra Pradesh state government has even asked the Indian federal government to implement the Information Technology Act of 2000 and block online casino websites.
Please be aware that online gambling is illegal in Telangana and Andhra Pradesh.
Foreign Casino Websites in India
We don’t know when India will update the federal laws related to online gambling. Still, until they make significant changes, most Indian people will have access to foreign casino websites that open their doors to players from India.
It is possible because none of the Indian laws explicitly prohibit online gambling using foreign online casinos. Most online casinos, especially reputable platforms we’ve outlined for you, are licensed and regulated by relevant governing bodies, thus ensuring that their services are fair and regulated.
Always select a foreign online casino regulated by a reputable gaming authority.
Using a foreign-based online casino dramatically increases your online safety and allows for more interactive fun. If you don’t know which online casino to select, you should refer to our list of reviews that outline the safest online casino options for Indian players.
How to Select a Good Foreign Casino Website in India?
Before you choose an excellent foreign online casino in India, here are some things you need to know that are essential for your selection:
The casino must be located outside India
The online casino you select must be located (registered) outside India. Check to see if the online casino has legal ties to India by checking who is the platform’s owner, where it is registered and licensed, and where the payment processor is registered.
Only join online casinos that are registered in a foreign country!
All reputable online casinos freely list this information on their websites, including registered addresses, phone number, and relevant license numbers. If you have doubts, you should check our list of reviews, where we provide you with all the necessary details of reputable online casinos that accept players from India.
The casino must accept Indian Rupees
The online casino should accept deposits in Indian Rupees and support Indian-favorite payment methods. Using Indian Rupees as a payment currency is essential, as this way, Indians don’t violate FEMA.
Ensure the online casino accepts deposits and withdrawals in Indian Rupees.
The most convenient payment methods Indian players can use to make online payments, including to online casinos, is via e-wallets like Skrill, Neteller, PayTM, and Google Pay. These payment methods follow foreign exchange rules and thus do not violate FEMA, allowing Indian players the option to join online casinos legally.
The casino should be licensed and regulated by some governing body
The casino license is one of the most vital things to note when joining any online casino platform. A casino license from a reputable governing body means that the online casino is safe and secure and upholds all the required standards regarding user safety and security. It also means that the online casino is supported by an existing payment platform, accepting genuine payment methods.
Always check the online casino license before joining the website.
A valid, up-to-date casino license means that the online casino games come from reputable software developers. However, the most crucial thing the casino license confirms is that the online casino adheres to the KYC/AML policies and allows withdrawals of players’ winnings.
Which Are Legal Foreign Casinos In India?
Now that we’ve covered everything else let’s talk about the actual legal foreign casinos in India. We’ll spare you more info and provide a detailed table outlining the online casinos we’ve reviewed and checked all essential aspects that our readers from India need to know. Please note that all the online casinos listed below are registered in a foreign country (that is not India), all have valid licenses, and have deposit and withdrawal methods that Indian players prefer (and don’t violate FEMA). All accept deposits in Indian Rupees and have all the games Indian gamblers love. We hope you find the one best suited to your wishes!
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Is online gambling legal in India?
Online gambling is not regulated in India, as the federal governing law is 155 years old and does not have any stipulation regarding online gambling. Because online gambling is unregulated, Indians from most states can join online casinos and play. Still, three states explicitly prohibit online gambling: Telangana, Andhra Pradesh, and Tamil Nadu.
Can I use any online casino to gamble in India?
While you can use any online casino in India, you should only join online casinos that accept players from India, accept Indian Rupee as a payment currency, are registered outside of India, and have convenient, Indian-friendly payment methods.
Will online betting and gambling be legalized in India?
There is no telling what the future will bring. Still, as the online casino industry in India is worth billions, we have great hopes that the Indian governing bodies will legalize and regulate this sector.
What Indian states are online casinos legal?
All the Indian states have different governing laws related to online casinos. Still, several have a licensing regime, and there are different stipulations regarding the games of chance vs the games of skill. Generally, Goa, Sikkim, Nagaland, and Meghalaya allow all forms of gambling.
What Indian states forbid online casinos?
Several Indian states have explicit laws related to online gambling, but different rules relate to the different games – games of skill and games of chance. Overall, Delhi, Gujarat, Telangana, Odisha, Tamil Nadu, and Andhra Pradesh have laws prohibiting some or all forms of gambling, with Telangana and Andhra Pradesh having complete bans on online gambling.
What are the most common casino games played by Indians?
Indians love all types of online casino games. Still, the most popular games in India are slots, Andar Bahar, Teen Patti, Hindi Roulette, poker, and game show games.
Do I need to pay taxes for online casino wins in India?
Yes, you need to pay taxes on your winnings from online casinos in India. If you play at any legal land-based casinos, the casino will automatically withdraw the tax sum from your winnings. But in the case of winning at online casinos, you will have to report the winnings and pay the necessary 30% flat tax rate by yourself.