Although gambling legality continues to be hotly debated in India, Indians remain devoted to gambling as indicated by the fact that India’s gaming market is estimated to be worth $60 billion. Indians usually wager on lotteries, cricket, horse racing, and other sports through a wide range of ways, not all of which can be called “legally”, according to the owners of onlinesatta.co.in.
The central government in India has not legalized sports betting. Simultaneously, there aren’t any laws that actually criminalize sports betting. So far, no citizen has been arrested for gambling although several bookies have been caught and penalized for operating illegal sports betting businesses.
Indian bettors should be aware of the following laws.
Public Gambling Act
Enacted in 1867 by the British, this 145-year-old piece of legislation is still being taken seriously in India. Although it makes gambling illegal, the act states that it is not applicable to skill-based games. Interestingly, only horse racing and rummy are considered to be games of skill in India.
State Sports Betting Laws
The Indian Constitution, which was drawn in 1949, gives states the freedom to legalize and regulate gambling within their borders and several states have exercised this freedom. As a result, lottery gaming is legal in 13 Indian states, casino gaming is legal in Goa, and several forms of gambling are legal in Sikkim, which also bears the credit of being the first Indian state to legalize online gambling.
Sikkim to Issue Online Gambling Applications
Sikkim is currently processing applications to operate online gambling sites, including sportsbooks, in India. Although this has attracted the attention of major international betting companies such as Betfair and William Hill, there are laws in India preventing foreign companies from investing in gambling businesses.
Online Sports Betting Sites for Indians
Is it legal for Indians to bet at offshore online sportsbooks? The answer to this question is not clear, and law-abiding citizens should consult a gambling attorney if they want to be absolutely sure that they are not doing something illegal. There are no laws in India preventing citizens from betting at offshore online sportsbooks and nobody has been penalized for doing so. Besides, several offshore online sportsbooks, especially those licensed in Gibraltar and UK, allow Indians to bet on their favorite sports, including IPL cricket, in Indian Rupees.
Anti Online Sports Betting Laws at the Central Level
Although there are no laws against sports betting at offshore online sites, the central government has created laws that can make it difficult for Indians to bet online.
The Payment and Settlement Act, which was brought into effect on Aug 12, 2008, enables the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) to regulate electronic payment systems and Indian users of PayPal were the worst hit as a result of this. At present, Indians cannot receive payments over $500 from foreign countries and are required to withdraw their payments to their bank accounts immediately. Even Neteller has stopped offering its Net+ prepaid cards in India.
However, things could change for the better as sports organizations are pressurizing the Indian government to legalize sports betting.
January 20, 2014
December 13, 2013
April 3, 2013
February 18, 2013